Programme no. 129-OP
Professional Development
Burnout and alcohol consumption in Danish physicians
Anette Fischer Pedersen*1, Niels Henrik Bruun2, Johanne Sørensen3, Bo Christensen4, Peter Vedsted5
1Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark, 2Department of public health,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark, 3Department of public health,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark, 4Department of public health,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark, 5Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark
* = Presenting author
Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine the association between burnout and alcohol consumption in Danish physicians.
Background: Burnout among physicians is increasing and not least among general practitioners. The consequences of burnout for physicians’ health and patient safety are not well-investigated.
Results: The prevalence of moderate burnout differed significantly: 27.3% (PLO), 29.8% (YL) and 19.5% (FAS) (chi2=15.0; p<0.01). The prevalence of problematic alcohol consumption was 16.1% (PLO), 18.4% (YL) and 19.3% (FAS) (p=0.352). Moderate burnout was significantly associated with increased risk of problematic alcohol consumption when adjusting for age, sex and marital status in PLO and FAS-members (PLO: OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.4-3.5; FAS: OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.16-2.9) but not in YL-members (OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.6-1.6).
Material/Methods: The study is based on 1943 anonymous responses (response rate = 49%) of an electronic questionnaire sent out to 4000 members of the Danish Medical Association (DMA). The members were randomly drawn with one third from each of the three DMA subdivisions: PLO (General Practitioners Association), YL (Younger Physicians Association) and FAS (Specialised Physicians Association). Data was collected from April to June 2014. The respondents completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human-Services-Survey (MBI-HSS). AUDIT contains 10 items and a cut-off on 8 was used as indication of problematic alcohol consumption. The MBI-HSS consists of 22 items divided on three subscales: emotional exhaustion (9 items), depersonalization (5 items), and personal accomplishment (8 items). A moderate degree of burnout is defined as a high score on the emotional exhaustion subscale (>26) and/or a high score on the depersonalization subscale (>9). The association between burnout and problematic alcohol consumption was analysed with logistic regression performed separately for members of each subdivision.
Conclusion: The results of this study documented an association between moderate burnout and problematic alcohol consumption in PLO and FAS-members. An association between moderate burnout and problematic alcohol consumption was not supported in YL-members in whom the highest prevalence of burnout was observed.
Points for discussion: How can we explain the high prevalence of burnout and its lack of association with alcohol consumption in YL-members? Do burned-out physicians with and without problematic alcohol consumption differ from each other in levels of clinical activities?