Prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and the effect of interventions to reduce symptoms: A systematic literature review
In recent years there has been increasing attention for the prevalence and prevention of burnout among healthcare professionals. There is unclarity about prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and little is known about effective interventions in this area.Aim:
To investigate the prevalence of (symptoms of) burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and what interventions may reduce symptoms of burnout in this population.Design:
A systematic literature review based on criteria of the PRISMA statement was performed on prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and interventions aimed at preventing burnout.Data sources:
PubMed, PsycInfo and Cinahl were searched for studies published from 2008 to 2020. Quality of the studies was assessed using the method of Hawkers for systematically reviewing research.Results:
In total 59 studies were included. Burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care ranged from 3% to 66%. No major differences in prevalence were found between nurses and physicians. Healthcare professionals providing palliative care in general settings experience more symptoms of burnout than those in specialised palliative care settings. Ten studies reported on the effects of interventions aimed at preventing burnout. Reduction of one or more symptoms of burnout after the intervention was reported in six studies which were aimed at learning meditation, improving communication skills, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision.Conclusion:
The range of burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care varies widely. Interventions based on meditation, communication training, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision have positive effects but long-term outcomes are not known yet.