The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

A national cross-sectional survey and interviews exploring the relationship between well-being and burnout in doctors

A national cross-sectional survey and interviews exploring the relationship between well-being and burnout in doctors
A national cross-sectional survey and interviews exploring the relationship between well-being and burnout in doctors
Aims: doctors’ mental health is a national concern – the General Medical Council, British Medical Association and Health Education England pledge to improve their well-being. Well-being has no common definition, instead pathogenic measures such as burnout are published as a demonstration of doctors’ wellbeing. Yet, the relationship between burnout and wel-being has not been explored. Aim: to investigate the relationship between burnout and well-being. Hypothesis: they are negatively associated, but not opposites. Method: an online cross-sectional national survey was distributed to doctors of all grades and specialties via the Royal Colleges and doctor organisations. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) measured burnout, and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) measured well-being. Correlation coefficients between total scores of these measures estimated the relationship. Additionally, semi-structured interviews explored personal definitions of wellbeing and its relationship with burnout. Thematic analysis was carried out. Result: 64 doctors completed the OLBI and WEMWBS. Comparing the total scores for the questionnaires with Spearman's rho indicates a moderate negative correlation (rs= –0.658, p = 0.00, n = 64). Total scores were made into binary variables, a Chi-square test showed that a low WEMWBS score (<40) and a very high risk OLBI score (≥2.85 exhaustion and ≥2.6 disengagement) were statistically significantly associated (X 2 (1, N = 64) = 4.232, p = 0.04). Three themes emerged from the 10 interviews conducted: the importance of networks/relationships outside work; scepticism towards the proposal of an NHS wellbeing check-in; and how participants do not strive to improve their wellbeing until its decline. Conclusion: this research demonstrates that wellbeing and burnout have only a moderate negative correlation when using commonly employed measurement tools. Therefore, measures of burnout are not a surrogate for wellbeing. Further research could adopt a salutogenic approach by using the WEMWBS to monitor doctors’ wellbeing and could explore interventions to increase well-being, rather than waiting for its decline.
2056-4724
S32-S33
Boxley, Emma
68c07bce-e1a6-4837-895e-43ff7c6fabcf
Jenkins, John
96fdfbbd-a40b-438d-8cfc-f8f5b2cb8159
Simons, Gemma
fd1eb2bd-23d4-42a8-899b-5eeb5ad62b9c
Boxley, Emma
68c07bce-e1a6-4837-895e-43ff7c6fabcf
Jenkins, John
96fdfbbd-a40b-438d-8cfc-f8f5b2cb8159
Simons, Gemma
fd1eb2bd-23d4-42a8-899b-5eeb5ad62b9c

Boxley, Emma, Jenkins, John and Simons, Gemma (2021) A national cross-sectional survey and interviews exploring the relationship between well-being and burnout in doctors. BJPsych Open, 7, S32-S33. (doi:10.1192/bjo.2021.139).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: doctors’ mental health is a national concern – the General Medical Council, British Medical Association and Health Education England pledge to improve their well-being. Well-being has no common definition, instead pathogenic measures such as burnout are published as a demonstration of doctors’ wellbeing. Yet, the relationship between burnout and wel-being has not been explored. Aim: to investigate the relationship between burnout and well-being. Hypothesis: they are negatively associated, but not opposites. Method: an online cross-sectional national survey was distributed to doctors of all grades and specialties via the Royal Colleges and doctor organisations. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) measured burnout, and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) measured well-being. Correlation coefficients between total scores of these measures estimated the relationship. Additionally, semi-structured interviews explored personal definitions of wellbeing and its relationship with burnout. Thematic analysis was carried out. Result: 64 doctors completed the OLBI and WEMWBS. Comparing the total scores for the questionnaires with Spearman's rho indicates a moderate negative correlation (rs= –0.658, p = 0.00, n = 64). Total scores were made into binary variables, a Chi-square test showed that a low WEMWBS score (<40) and a very high risk OLBI score (≥2.85 exhaustion and ≥2.6 disengagement) were statistically significantly associated (X 2 (1, N = 64) = 4.232, p = 0.04). Three themes emerged from the 10 interviews conducted: the importance of networks/relationships outside work; scepticism towards the proposal of an NHS wellbeing check-in; and how participants do not strive to improve their wellbeing until its decline. Conclusion: this research demonstrates that wellbeing and burnout have only a moderate negative correlation when using commonly employed measurement tools. Therefore, measures of burnout are not a surrogate for wellbeing. Further research could adopt a salutogenic approach by using the WEMWBS to monitor doctors’ wellbeing and could explore interventions to increase well-being, rather than waiting for its decline.

Text
a-national-cross-sectional-survey-and-interviews-exploring-the-relationship-between-well-being-and-burnout-in-doctors - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (165kB)

More information

Published date: 9 June 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451272
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451272
ISSN: 2056-4724
PURE UUID: bf8a7914-1f81-4107-8138-458971d32dfd
ORCID for Gemma Simons: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2454-5948

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Sep 2021 16:30
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:23

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Emma Boxley
Author: John Jenkins
Author: Gemma Simons ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×