An evaluation of a support group for junior doctors working in palliative medicine

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2006 Aug-Sep;23(4):287-96. doi: 10.1177/1049909106290717.


Evidence suggests that doctors working in palliative medicine experience stress and burnout. This study has 2 parts. The first investigates a pilot scheme in an inner-city hospice where junior doctors met for confidential every-third-week support sessions with an independent facilitator. Data collected from 25 doctors attending the group suggest that all respondents found it helpful, particularly through sharing clinical experiences, establishing relationships, having a confidential forum for discussion, and having protected time set aside for the group. All indicated they would value similar support in other medical settings. In the second part of the study, contact was made with 62 other adult and children's hospices in the United Kingdom to seek evidence of support provision for junior doctors in other centers. Forty-seven (76%) replied. Six (13%) had a doctors' support group. Twenty (43%) had other support measures, such as close informal support, input by a psychologist, mentoring, and clinical supervision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Mentors*
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • United Kingdom