Strategies Proposed for Mitigating Physician Burnout

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Mindfulness and stress-management training may help manage physician burnout.
Mindfulness and stress-management training may help manage physician burnout.

HealthDay News -- Effective strategies for managing physician burnout include mindfulness and stress-management training, according to a review published in The Lancet.

Colin West, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues note that burnout affects more than half of US doctors. Seeking ways to combat the problem, they reviewed 52 studies that included 3630 doctors.

Effective strategies for individuals include mindfulness and stress-management training, as well as small group sessions where colleagues discuss their experiences confidentially, the researchers found. 

Organizational strategies that work include limiting duty hours and making changes in the way care is provided in hospitals and clinics. The study authors called for more research into the problem. They also cited the need to know more about long-term benefits of combining strategies.

"We conducted an extensive search and compared the effectiveness of interventions across a range of burnout outcomes," Dr West said in a Mayo news release. "It's clear that both individual strategies and structured organizational approaches are effective in achieving clinically meaningful reductions in burnout."

Reference

  1. West CP, Dyrbye L, Erwin PJ, Shanafelt TD. Interventions to prevent and reduce physician burnout: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2016 Sep 28. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31279-X [Epub ahead of print].
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