Workload and GP burnout: a survey and register-based study in Danish general practice

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Burnout is common among GPs. Previous studies have indicated an association between high workload and burnout among doctors.

AIM: To assess the risk of burnout among single-handed GPs in Denmark in relation to self-reported and register-based workload.

DESIGN & SETTING: Questionnaire data from 312 Danish single-handed GPs and register data on their patients and provided services.

METHOD: Burnout was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). A composite burnout score of quartile points was calculated. The questionnaire provided information on working hours. Register data included number of services and patient list size. Association between composite burnout score and workload was estimated with binomial regression analyses adjusting for the GP's age and sex, and social deprivation score of their patient lists.

RESULTS: Working >5 days a week in practice increased the risk of a high burnout score (adjusted risk ratio [RR] = 2.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.62 to 3.37). Spending >7.5 hours a day on patient-related tasks increased the risk of a high burnout score. The highest score was among GPs spending 8.5-9.5 hours a day on patient-related tasks (adjusted RR = 2.01, 95% CI = 0.90 to 4.51), although not statistically significant. There was no association between number of services and risk of burnout.

CONCLUSION: Working 5 days a week in practice significantly increased the risk of burnout in Danish single-handed GPs. Spending >7.5 hours a day on patient-related tasks tended to increase the risk. We found no association between a high number of services and increased risk of burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberBJGPO.2023.0077
JournalBJGP Open
Volume8
Issue1
ISSN2398-3795
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Denmark
  • family practice
  • general practitioners
  • professional burnout
  • workload

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