Scientific article
Open access

Prevalence of burnout among Swiss cancer clinicians, paediatricians and general practitioners: who are most at risk?

Published inSupportive care in cancer, vol. 17, no. 1, p. 75-81
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2009

GOALS OF WORK: Increasing economical and administrative constraints and changes in health-care systems constitute a risk for burnout, especially for cancer physicians. However, little is known about differences across medical specialties and the importance of work characteristics. METHODS: A postal questionnaire addressing burnout, psychiatric morbidity, sociodemographics and work characteristics was administered to 180 cancer physicians, 184 paediatricians and 197 general practitioners in Switzerland. RESULTS: A total of 371 (66%) physicians participated in the survey. Overall, one third of the respondents expressed signs indicative of psychiatric morbidity and of burnout, including high levels of emotional exhaustion (33%) and depersonalisation/cynicism (28%) and a reduced feeling of personal accomplishment (20%). Workload (>50 h/week), lack of continuing education (<6 h/month) and working in a public institution were significantly associated with an increased risk of burnout. After adjustment for these characteristics, general practitioners had a higher risk for emotional exhaustion (OR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1 to 3.6) and depersonalisation (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4 to 5.3). CONCLUSION: In this Swiss sample, cancer clinicians had a significant lower risk of burnout, despite a more important workload. Among possible explanations, involvement in research and teaching activities and access to continuing education may have protected them.

  • Burnout, Professional/epidemiology/psychology
  • Depersonalization/psychology
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians/psychology
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
  • Workload/psychology
Citation (ISO format)
ARIGONI, Flavia et al. Prevalence of burnout among Swiss cancer clinicians, paediatricians and general practitioners: who are most at risk? In: Supportive care in cancer, 2009, vol. 17, n° 1, p. 75–81. doi: 10.1007/s00520-008-0465-6
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0941-4355

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