Women in Health Care More Likely to Experience Burnout

Women in health care occupations endure a significantly higher level of stress and burnout than men, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Global Advances in Integrative Medicine and Health.

Viktoriya Karakcheyeva, M.D., from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined well-being among self-identified women working in health care in a comprehensive literature review. Seventy-one studies published in 26 countries between 1979 and 2022 were extracted. Adult women health care professionals, including nurses, physicians, clinical social workers, and mental health providers, were enrolled in the studies. The study did not mention any racial differences.

The researchers found that compared with their male counterparts, women in health care occupations endure a significantly higher level of stress and burnout; the results were consistent across the scope of the literature. Job satisfaction, psychological health, and work-life integration were gender-specific factors identified as having a direct correlation to well-being.

“We present the hypothesis that positive wellness culture and holistic well-being practices will mutually reinforce each other and improve outcome measurements in our vulnerable population,” the authors write. “For future study, we propose a definition of well-being that integrates mental health (mind) with physical health (body) resulting in a more complete approach to disease prevention and health promotion that also takes into consideration high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress.”

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