Cross-sectional survey study.
To evaluate the prevalence of burnout, assess the personal and professional characteristics associated with burnout in spine surgeons and determine their quality of life.
Summary of Background Data.
Burnout is a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased sense of accomplishment that leads to decreased effectiveness at work. To date, there has been a lack of information on the prevalence of burnout among spine surgeons worldwide and the risk factors associated with this condition.
An electronic survey with members of AO Spine was performed in May 2018. The survey evaluated demographic variables, practice characteristics, burnout, and quality of life. Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and EuroQol 5-dimensions (EQ5D) were used to evaluate burnout and quality of life, respectively.
A total of 818 surgeons from 86 countries completed the survey. The prevalence of burnout was 30.6%. In the multiple linear model, emotional fatigue was independently associated with younger age (B = –0.17, CI95% = –0.26 to –0.07, P < 0.0001), and longer working hours per week (B = –2.71, CI95% = –4.34 to –1.07, P = 0.001); depersonalization was independently associated with younger age (B = –0.13, CI95% = –0.19 to –0.07, P < 0.0001), practicing outside Latin America (LA) (B = 0.71, CI95% = 0.41–1.01, P < 0.0001) and currently being a fellow (B = 0.54, CI95% = 0.06–1.02, P = 0.02); and higher scores of personal fulfilment was associated with practicing in LA (B = –1.27, CI95% = –1.69 to –0.85, P < 0.0001).
Burnout is a common condition among spine surgeons worldwide. There is a significant association between burnout scores and decreased general quality of life. These results highlight the need to develop interventional programs to better identify, prevent, and manage this condition among practicing spine surgeons.
Level of Evidence: 4