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Pain Physician


BACKGROUND: Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, defined by 3 dimensions: exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. While there is a growing body of research on burnout in physicians, there is a dearth of literature on burnout in pain medicine physicians.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the incidence of burnout amongst pain medicine physicians and whether there are sociodemographic or psychological demand characteristics of the job setting that predict burnout in pain medicine physicians.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-section survey of pain medicine physicians across the United States.

METHODS: Pain medicine physicians were asked questions on sociodemographics and professional characteristics and measures of decisional authority, psychological job demands, job insecurity, perceived coworker support, and job dissatisfaction.

RESULTS: Two hundred seven pain medicine physicians' responses were analyzed, 60.4% reported high emotional exhaustion, 35.7% reported high depersonalization, and 19.3% reported low personal accomplishment. Greater psychological job demands and greater job dissatisfaction predicted greater emotional exhaustion. Younger age and greater job dissatisfaction predicted higher depersonalization. Lastly, lower coworker support and greater job dissatisfaction predicted lower personal accomplishment. There were no statistical violations of assumptions or collinearity.

LIMITATIONS: Low response rate and potential for response bias limit generalizability of the study.

CONCLUSION(S): Pain medicine physicians in the United States reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, often considered the most taxing aspect of burnout. Job dissatisfaction appeared to be the leading agent in the development of all 3 components of burnout in pain medicine physicians in the United States.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Burnout, Professional; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pain Management; Physicians; United States

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