Year: 2023 Source: JAMA Network Open. (2020). 3(12), e2028780. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.28780 SIEC No: 20230931
Objective  To assess the association between burnout and suicidal ideation after adjusting for depression and the association of burnout and depression with self-reported medical errors. Design, Setting, and Participants  This cross-sectional study was conducted from November 12, 2018, to February 15, 2019. Attending and postgraduate trainee physicians randomly sampled from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile were emailed invitations to complete an online survey in waves until a convenience sample of more than 1200 practicing physicians agreed to participate. Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcome was the association of burnout with suicidal ideation after adjustment for depression. The secondary outcome was the association of burnout and depression with self-reported medical errors. Burnout, depression, suicidal ideation, and medical errors were measured using subscales of the Stanford Professional Fulfillment Index, Maslach Burnout Inventory–Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel, and Mini-Z burnout survey and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System depression Short Form. Associations were evaluated using multivariable regression models. Results  Of the 1354 respondents, 893 (66.0%) were White, 1268 (93.6%) were non-Hispanic, 762 (56.3%) were men, 912 (67.4%) were non–primary care physicians, 934 (69.0%) were attending physicians, and 824 (60.9%) were younger than 45 years. Each SD-unit increase in burnout was associated with 85% increased odds of suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR], 1.85; 95% CI, 1.47-2.31). After adjusting for depression, there was no longer an association (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.63-1.17). In the adjusted model, each SD-unit increase in depression was associated with 202% increased odds of suicidal ideation (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 2.30-3.95). In the adjusted model for self-reported medical errors, each SD-unit increase in burnout was associated with an increase in self-reported medical errors (OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.28-1.71), whereas depression was not associated with self-reported medical errors (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.88-1.16). Conclusions and Relevance  The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that depression but not physician burnout is directly associated with suicidal ideation. Burnout was associated with self-reported medical errors. Future investigation might examine whether burnout represents an upstream intervention target to prevent suicidal ideation by preventing depression.