[Burnout in French doctors: a comparative study among anaesthesiologists and other specialists in French hospitals (SESMAT study)]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2011 Nov;30(11):782-94. doi: 10.1016/j.annfar.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 Oct 5.
[Article in French]


Objective: Burnout is one of the main chronic health problems with negative consequences on health care givers but also on quality of care. The main goal of Physician Health Survey was to study the frequency of burnout among salaried physicians and pharmacists and to compare anesthesiologists and intensivists (AI) with other practitioners (OP). The secondary end points were to analyze risk factors of burnout in each group.

Material and methods: An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was diffused via a specific website. Burnout was measured using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI). Several different factors were examined: work/family conflict, salary satisfaction, quality of teamwork, interpersonal relationships, workplace influence, workload and perceived health. The role of each factor was calculated by multivariate logistic regression and comparisons were made between AI and OP.

Results: Among the 3196 responses, CBI revealed an elevated score of burnout in 38.4% in AI and in 42.4% in OP. In each group, a great gap was displayed between the CBI results and the self-assessment of burnout (15%). Among AI, risk factors of burnout were high quantitative demand (ORadj=3.40; CI(95) 1,34-8,63), Work/family conflict (ORadj=; 3.12 CI(95) 1.60-6.08), low quality of teamwork (ORadj=1.99; CI(95)1.14-3.47) and tense Relation within team (ORadj=1.92; CI(95) 1.25-2.95). All these factors are observed also among OP. Female gender, young age and dissatisfaction with pay have significant influence but different in the two groups. Claims of recurrent harassment by superiors is a risk factor for burnout only for the AP (adj.OR=1.83; CI(95) 1.04-3.22).

Discussion: Burnout affected near one about two salaried physicians and pharmacists in France. AI were not more concerned by burnout than OP but all of whom have difficulty identifying their own levels of psychological stress and burnout. Decreasing the level of different risk factors i.e. by improving the quality of teamwork should lead to reduce burnout frequency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesiology / trends*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians*
  • Risk Factors
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Specialization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload