To examine burnout prevalence among California neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and to test the relation between burnout and healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates” Tawfik et al (2017).
Objective: To examine burnout prevalence among California neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and to test the relation between burnout and healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates.
Study Design: Retrospective observational study of provider perceptions of burnout from 2073 nurse practitioners, physicians, registered nurses and respiratory therapists, using a validated four-item questionnaire based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The relation between burnout and HAI rates among VLBW (<1500 g) neonates from each NICU was evaluated using multi-level logistic regression analysis with patient-level factors as fixed effects.
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Results: We found variable prevalence of burnout across the NICUs surveyed (mean 25.2±10.1%). Healthcare-associated infection rates were 8.3±5.1% during the study period. Highest burnout prevalence was found among nurses, nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists (non-physicians, 28±11% vs 17±19% physicians), day shift workers (30±3% vs 25±4% night shift) and workers with 5 or more years of service (29±2% vs 16±6% in fewer than 3 years group). Overall burnout rates showed no correlation with risk-adjusted rates of HAIs (r=−0.133). Item-level analysis showed positive association between HAIs and perceptions of working too hard (odds ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.04–1.28). Sensitivity analysis of high-volume NICUs suggested a moderate correlation between burnout prevalence and HAIs (r=0.34).
Conclusion: Burnout is most prevalent among non-physicians, daytime workers and experienced workers. Perceptions of working too hard associate with increased HAIs in this cohort of VLBW infants, but overall burnout prevalence is not predictive.
Tawfik, D.S., Sexton, J.B., Kan, P., Sharek, P.J., Nisbet, C.C., Rigdon, J., Lee, H.C. and Profit, J. (2017) Burnout in the neonatal intensive care unit and its relation to healthcare-associated infections. Journal of Perinatology. 37, p.315–320.
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