[Prevalence of burnout syndrome in physicians working in Spain: systematic review and meta-analysis]

Gac Sanit. 2024 Apr 2:S0213-9111(24)00031-1. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2024.102384. Online ahead of print.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To analyze the prevalence of burnout syndrome in physicians working in Spain through a systematic review with meta-analysis METHOD: We searched PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO (up to June 2023). Observational studies conducted in Spain reporting the prevalence of burnout in physicians were included. From each study, methodological characteristics and results were extracted, and their quality was evaluated. We performed a narrative synthesis with random effects meta-analysis to calculate proportions.

Results: Sixty-seven studies with 16,076 participants were included. For the primary outcome, the meta-analysis revealed a global prevalence of burnout in physicians of 24% (95%CI: 19%-29%; 46 studies; 8821 participants; I2=97%). From subgroup analysis, differences were observed depending on the diagnostic criteria used: 18% (95%CI: 13%-23%) for three dimensions of burnout, 29% (95%CI: 24%-34%) for two dimensions and 51% (95%CI: 42%-60%) for one dimension. The heterogeneity between studies could not be fully explained through additional analyses where non-statistically significant differences were found with other variables (e.g., study quality, setting, professional category or medical specialty).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of burnout syndrome was found in physicians working in Spain. These results can contribute to estimating the burden associated with burnout in physicians at a national level and to the design of future studies. Strategies appear to be necessary to prevent and mitigate this situation.

Protocol registration: Open Science Framework: https://osf.io/b2h4m/.

Keywords: Burnout; Desgaste profesional; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Meta-analysis; Metaanálisis; Médicos; Physicians; Prevalence; Prevalencia; Revisión sistemática; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • English Abstract