Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Descriptive and Predictive Data from a Survey of Psychologists at a Single Academic Medical Center

Joseph M Trombello, Natalia S. David, Mona A. Robbins, Robert A. Ruchinskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Burnout in academic medicine has been widely studied, but most work has been conducted among physicians. Psychologists in academic medicine have unique burnout factors. Therefore, investigating the prevalence and predictors of burnout among psychologists in academic medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic represents an important addition to the literature. Methods: Sixty-two psychologists responded to burnout-related items in a larger, 40-item Psychiatry Department climate survey conducted from October to November 2020. Five items from the MINI-Z survey were administered to examine control over workload and sufficiency of documentation time as predictors of both continuous and dichotomously defined burnout. Linear and logistic regression was employed with years as a faculty member entered as a covariate. Results: Slightly less than half (48.4%) of respondents met dichotomous criteria for burnout. Faculty with fewer years of experience scored higher on their level of continuous burnout. Both control over workload and sufficiency of time for documentation were independent predictors of continuous burnout, but only control over workload remained a statistically significant predictor in a simultaneous model. Control over workload was a significant predictor in dichotomous models but did not remain so once sufficiency of documentation time was also added. Conclusion: Burnout prevalence among psychologists was comparable to rates among physicians at other institutions, even when examined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic medicine administrators and organizational leaders should consider policies and programming to increase control over workload, especially among junior psychologist faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Academic medicine
  • Burnout
  • Psychologist
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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