Prevalence and associated factors for burnout among attending general surgeons: a national cross-sectional survey

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Background: Burnout resulting from long-term and unmanaged workplace stress is high among healthcare professionals, especially surgeons, and affects both individuals and the quality of patient care. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated factors for burnout among attending general surgeons and to identify possible preventive strategies. Methods: A national cross-sectional survey using a 35-item questionnaire was conducted among members of the Turkish Surgical Society. The survey evaluated demographics, professional and practice characteristics, social participation, and burnout as well as interventions to deal with burnout. Burnout was defined as a high score on the emotional exhaustion (EE) and/or depersonalization (DP) subscales. Surgeons with high scores on both the EE and DP and a low score on personal accomplishment (PA) were considered to have severe burnout. Results: Six hundred fifteen general surgeons completed the survey. The median EE, DP, and PA scores were 34 (IQR, 20–43), 9 (IQR, 4–16), and 36 (IQR, 30–42), respectively. Overall, the prevalence of burnout and severe burnout were 69.1 and 22.0%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, factors independently associated with burnout were working in a training and research hospital (OR = 3.34; P < 0.001) or state hospital (OR = 2.77; P = 0.001), working ≥ 60 h per week (OR = 1.57; P = 0.046), and less frequent participation in social activities (OR = 3.65; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Burnout is an important problem among general surgeons with impacts and consequences for professionals, patients, and society. Considering that burnout is a preventable condition, systematic efforts to identify at-risk populations and to develop strategies to address burnout in surgeons are needed.




Celik, S. U., Aslan, A., Coskun, E., Coban, B. N., Haner, Z., Kart, S., … Akyol, C. (2021). Prevalence and associated factors for burnout among attending general surgeons: a national cross-sectional survey. BMC Health Services Research, 21(1).

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