Friday, January 17, 2020

Help APA Understand How Burnout Affects Different Groups

APA’s Committee on Well-being and Burnout wants to know more about psychiatrists’ experiences with burnout and/or depression.

APA members are urged to complete a new survey/self-assessment tool developed by the committee that includes questions about demographics (age, gender, geographic location, minority status, and other variables) and practice setting (private practice, group practice, community mental health center, academic medical center, etc.). The survey also includes questions about burnout using the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to screen for depression. The survey can be completed in under 20 minutes.

All data will be kept anonymous.

“We hope to learn more about well-being and burnout among psychiatrists in general and among minority and underrepresented psychiatrists, specifically,” said Uchenna Okoye, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the committee.

An earlier online survey created by the committee established that burnout was a significant issue among APA members. In a 2018 report to the Board of Trustees, the committee stated that of the more than 1,900 psychiatrists who had taken the survey, 73% scored above 35 on the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory—indicating they were at risk for burnout. The survey also found that 15% of the respondents had a PHQ-9 score greater than 10, which indicates the presence of moderate to severe depression. Burnout scores were correlated with gender (women typically had higher scores), recent medical school graduation, and perceived inability to control one’s schedule. Among non-depressed respondents, burnout scores were slightly lower for psychiatrists who worked in academic and academic-affiliated practice settings.

The new survey will help drill down further to understand whether burnout affects members of minority groups differently. “We know a lot about burnout, but we don’t know much about the rates or causes of burnout in minority and underrepresented psychiatrists,” Okoye said. “If you belong to one or more minority or underrepresented groups—for example, if you are a woman, belong to a racial or ethnic minority, are an international medical graduate, identify as LGBTQ+, or belong to another group—your voice may not have been heard in this national conversation.”

Past APA President Carol Bernstein, M.D., also a member of the committee, said research on how burnout affects particular groups will help all psychiatrists affected by the problem. “I urge members to log onto the survey,” she said. “Understanding more about this issue and developing potential strategies to address it are important for the field of psychiatry, and for all of us in it.”

Click here to learn more about what APA is doing to address burnout.

(Image: Adam Scott)

Follow Psychiatric News on Twitter!

And check out the new Psychiatric News Brief on Alexa-enabled devices.


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.