Original Article

Loss of Meaning at Work Associated with Burnout Risk in Academic Medicine

Authors: Erick Messias, MD, Victoria Flynn, MD, Molly Gathright, MD, Carol Thrush, EdD, Timothy Atkinson, EdD, Puru Thapa, MD


Objectives: Meaning at work has been proposed as one of the key drivers of professional burnout in healthcare, but few studies have simultaneously measured this relation.

Methods: In this cross-sectional analysis of 1637 individuals at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, burnout was measured using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory work-related subscale.

Results: Meaningful work was measured using items adapted from the Work as Meaning Inventory. The prevalence of work-related burnout increased with each level of diminished meaning at work. From the highest (“always”) to the lowest (“never”) level of meaning at work, the prevalence of burnout was: 13, 26, 57, 84, and 94%, respectively.

Conclusions: Work-related burnout was inversely proportional to reported meaning at work in an academic medical center.
Posted in: Mental Health38

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