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Reducing burnout and anxiety among doctors: Randomized controlled trial

Medisauskaite, A; Kamau, C; (2019) Reducing burnout and anxiety among doctors: Randomized controlled trial. Psychiatry Research , 274 pp. 383-390. 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.075. Green open access

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Abstract

Prevalence studies show high levels of burnout, anxiety, fatigue and other symptoms of distress among medical doctors. However, there are very few randomized controlled trials testing interventions against these problems. This randomized controlled trial (NCT02838290; ClinicalTrials.gov, 2016) tested interventions teaching 227 doctors about the psychology of burnout, stress, coping with patient death, and managing distress, as well as giving them information about prevalence rates among doctors. Primary outcomes included burnout, anxiety, insomnia, grief, alcohol/drug use, binge eating, physical symptoms, and psychiatric morbidity. The outcomes were tested before and after the interventions with a 7-day time-lag. The intervention significantly decreased doctors' levels of burnout (e.g. emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) and anxiety. Doctors in the control group had no significant changes in these signs of distress. The intervention did not significantly reduce other health and habit-related outcomes potentially because these need a longer time-lag than 7 days. Interventions teaching doctors about the psychology of work-related distress reduce burnout and anxiety by helping doctors realize that distress is a normal, human reaction to external stressors, common in medicine, and solvable by learning about psychological coping strategies.

Type: Article
Title: Reducing burnout and anxiety among doctors: Randomized controlled trial
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.075
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.075
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Binge-eating, Insomnia, Intervention, Physical symptoms, Stress
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070520
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