Increased burnout among clinicians was found to be associated with compromised patient safety, according to study results published in Medicina.

A team of international investigators conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the relationship between clinician burnout and patient safety. Of the 19 studies included in the meta-analysis, nearly 50% were conducted in the United States and nearly 90% were cross-sectional studies. In addition, the majority of the included studies involved nurses and physicians.

Results from the studies supported a negative association between increased burnout and a decline in patient safety. Meta-analysis results indicated the association was greater than 60%.

Workload was found to be a contributing factor to both burnout and compromised patient safety.  Burnout was associated with a deterioration in team collaboration and job satisfaction. “Higher levels of burnout were also associated with unfavorable outcomes, patient dissatisfaction, and increased patient and family complaints,” the authors noted.

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“These results highlight the importance of working under the precepts of health promotion, as this will help with positively affecting the patient’s safety and the quality of life of professionals and the population,” continued the investigators.

“The development of new studies aimed at identifying this association more closely in all health professionals, regardless of their line of work, is extremely relevant for health interventions,” the researchers concluded.


de Lima Garcia C, de Abreu LC, Ramos JLS, et al. Influence of burnout on patient safety: systematic review and meta-analysis [published online August 30, 2019]. Medicina. doi: 10.3390/medicina55090553