Original Article

Self-Report Study of Predictors of Physician Wellness, Burnout, and Quality of Patient Care

Authors: Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt, PhD, ABPP, Heather Kirkpatrick, PhD, ABPP, Kanako Taku, PhD, Ronald Hunt, MD


Objective: The goal of this self-report study was to examine the relation of work variables, self-rated health and mental health status, and perceived social support to physician wellness, physician burnout, and quality of patient care.

Methods: We administered a demographics questionnaire, the Physician Wellness Inventory, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the Patient Care Scale to a random sample of full physician members of the American Academy of Family Physicians. We performed regression analyses on self-reported health status, work variables, and social support data as predictor variables and the subscales from the Physician Wellness Inventory, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and Patient Care Scale as the outcome variables.

Results: The response rate was 22%. Self-reported mental health status significantly predicted all of the wellness scales, the burnout scales, and the quality of patient care. The ability to manage the workload was the second strongest predictor of multiple scales.

Conclusions: More work should be done to explore the factors related to physicians’ self-ratings of mental health status and what that means to them. Also, it is important to study whether self-rated mental health status is related to objective patient care quality measures.

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