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The relationship between resident burnout and safety-related and acceptability-related quality of healthcare: a systematic literature review.

  • Author(s): Dewa, Carolyn S
  • Loong, Desmond
  • Bonato, Sarah
  • Trojanowski, Lucy
  • Rea, Margaret
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:There has been increasing interest in examining the relationship between physician wellbeing and quality of patient care. However, few reviews have specifically focused on resident burnout and quality of patient care. The purpose of this systematic literature review of the current scientific literature is to address the question, "How does resident burnout affect the quality of healthcare related to the dimensions of acceptability and safety?" METHODS:This systematic literature review uses a multi-step screening process of publicly available peer-reviewed studies from five electronic databases: (1) Medline Current, (2) Medline In-process, (3) PsycINFO, (4) Embase, and (5) Web of Science. RESULTS:The electronic literature search resulted in the identification of 4638 unique citations. Of these, 10 articles were included in the review. Studies were assessed for risk of bias. Of the 10 studies that met the inclusion criteria, eight were conducted in the US, one in The Netherlands, and one in Mexico. Eight of the 10 studies focused on patient safety. The results of these included studies suggest there is moderate evidence that burnout is associated with patient safety (i.e., resident self-perceived medical errors and sub-optimal care). There is less evidence that specific dimensions of burnout are related to acceptability (i.e., quality of care, communication with patients). CONCLUSIONS:The results of this systematic literature review suggest a relationship between patient safety and burnout. These results potentially have important implications for the medical training milieu because residents are still in training and at the same time are asked to teach students. The results also indicate a need for more evidence-based interventions that support continued research examining quality of care measures, especially as they relate to acceptability.

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