HealthDay News — Emergency department (ED) physicians have high need-for-recovery (NFR) scores, with increased scores for those with difficulty accessing annual and study leave, according to a study published online in BMJ Open.

Laura Cottey, BM, BSc, from the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional electronic survey in 112 emergency departments in the United Kingdom and Ireland to determine the NFR and identify demographic and occupational characteristics associated with higher NFR scores.

The researchers found that for all 4247 eligible consented participants, the median NFR score was 70.0. Statistically significant associations were seen between gender, health conditions, type of emergency department, access to annual and study leave, and time spent working out of hours. A lower NFR score was seen for groups such as male physicians, consultants, general practitioners within the emergency department, those working in pediatric emergency departments, and those with no long-term health conditions or disability. For those with difficulty accessing annual and study leave, the NFR score increased by 3.7 and 6.43, respectively, after adjustment for these characteristics. The NFR score increased almost linearly with increased percentage of out-of-hours work (26% to 50%, 5.7; 51% to 75%, 10.3; 76% to 100%, 14.5).

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“Better access to leave and any reduction in antisocial shifts might result in direct improvements in NFR and help protect against the development of burnout,” Cottey said in a statement.

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