Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Identifying factors that contribute to burnout and resilience among hospital-based addiction medicine providers: A qualitative study.

INTRODUCTION: Inpatient Addiction Consultation Services (ACS) fill an important need by connecting hospitalized patients with substance use disorders with resources for treatment; however, providers of these services may be at risk for burnout. In this qualitative study, we aimed to identify factors associated with burnout and, conversely, resilience among multidisciplinary providers working on ACS.

METHODS: We completed 26 semi-structured interviews with clinicians working on ACS, including physicians, social workers, and advanced practice providers. Twelve institutions across the country were represented. The study recruited participants via email solicitation to ACS directors and then via snowball sampling. We used an inductive, grounded theory approach to analyze data.

RESULTS: Providers described factors contributing to burnout and strategies for promoting resilience, and three main themes arose: (1) Systemic barriers contributed to provider burnout, (2) Engaging in meaningful work increased resilience, and (3) Team dynamics influenced perceptions of burnout and resilience.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that hospital-based addiction medicine work is intrinsically rewarding for many providers and that engaging with other addiction providers to debrief challenging encounters or engage in advocacy work can be protective against burnout. However, administrative and systemic factors are frequent sources of frustration for providers of ACS. Structured debriefings may help to mitigate burnout. Furthermore, training to enhance providers' ability to engage effectively in advocacy work within and between hospital systems has the potential to promote resilience and protect against burnout among ACS providers.

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