Professional coaching eases physician burnout in pilot study

Professional coaching could help reduce emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms among physicians, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found.

Researchers conducted a pilot trial with 88 practicing physicians in the departments of medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. They attended six sessions with a professional coach between Oct. 9, 2017, and March 27, 2018.

The study shows absolute rates of high emotional exhaustion at five months decreased by 19.5 percent in the group that participated in the coaching sessions and increased by 9.8 percent in the control group of physicians.

Absolute rates of overall burnout at five months also decreased by 17.1 percent in the coaching group and increased by 4.9 percent in the control group.

Researchers also found that quality-of-life scores improved by a mean of 1.2 points among physicians in the intervention group compared with 0.1 points in the control group, and resilience scores improved by a mean of 1.3 points in the intervention group versus 0.6 points in the control group.

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