COVID-19- related work, managerial factors and exhaustion among general practitioners in Sweden: a cross-sectional study.

Månsson Sandberg H, Landstad BJ, Tjulin Å, Brulin E

BMC Prim Care 24 (1) 269 [2023-12-13; online 2023-12-13]

A significant number of international studies show that general practitioners (GPs) suffered from burnout when working during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Swedish study found that more than 16% of GPs had exhaustion in spring 2021. Exhaustion can be regarded as an initial stage of burnout. A knowledge gap remains on GPs´ working conditions, the impact of management during the pandemic and how it was associated with exhaustion. This study aims to explore the association between severe symptoms of exhaustion and COVID-19 pandemic-related work and managerial factors among Swedish GPs and whether managerial factors have an impact on the association between exhaustion and COVID-19-related work factors. Cross-sectional data was drawn from the Longitudinal Occupational Health survey in Health Care Sweden (LOHHCS), which included a representative sample of practicing doctors in Sweden. The sample consisted of 6699 doctors with a response rate of 41.2%. This study constitutes a sample of doctors who reported working in primary care facilities at the time of data collection, i.e. 1013 GPs. The Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT) was used to assess severe symptoms of exhaustion. Questions were also asked about pandemic-related work and managerial factors. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression to identify the association between exhaustion, work and managerial factors. The multivariate analysis showed that GPs who managed COVID-19 patients were about twice as likely to report severe symptoms of exhaustion. Further, GPs who reported that management was unsupportive, provided unsatisfactory working conditions and unsatisfactory policies for patient prioritisation were between two and four times more likely to report severe symptoms of exhaustion. COVID-19-related work and managerial factors had a significant impact on the mental health of GPs. Furthermore, the potentially protective effect that satisfactory management actions had on mental health was limited. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and in preparation for future major crises that have a high impact on healthcare, there is a need to investigate the measures that can be taken to enable GPs to carry out their work, while maintaining their wellbeing.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Funder: VR

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38087223

DOI 10.1186/s12875-023-02228-w

Crossref 10.1186/s12875-023-02228-w

pmc: PMC10717449
pii: 10.1186/s12875-023-02228-w

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