Mixed-Method Study of Physician Burnout in Northern Canada

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, health care evaluation, employment, recruitment

Principal Investigator: Hansen, Nathaniel F (1)
Licence Number: 16613
Organization: Institute for Circumpolar Health Research (ICHR), Tufts University School of Medicine
Licensed Year(s): 2019
Issued: Aug 22, 2019
Project Team: Kennedy Jensen; Ian MacNiven

Objective(s): To characterize the factors that influence rates of physician burnout in rural and remote regions of northern Canada.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4483.

The goal is to characterize the factors that influence rates of physician burnout in rural and remote regions of northern Canada. The hope is that enhancing understanding of physician burnout in these regions will help policy makers and health system administrators to design policies that will more effectively support the wellbeing of physicians and counteract workforce attrition in particularly low-resource settings in Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

The research team propose using a mixed-method approach to interrogate the factors influencing physician burnout and turnover in rural and remote regions of northern Canada. The twenty-two-item version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) will be administered amongst full-time physicians practicing in any of the three northern territories. Additional questions regarding demographics, practice type, years in practice, and degree of rurality will also be included. Associations between burnout and these additional factors will be interrogated via 2 ANOVA, and t test statistical techniques. In addition to this quantitative survey-based analysis, a qualitative component will also be included in the study design. Survey respondents will be invited to respond to an open-ended question probing their perception of factors influencing burnout and physician well-being. Survey respondents will also be invited to participate in a brief phone interview. These interviews will be audio-recorded with participant permission, transcribed and de-identified. Relevant themes from qualitative data will be identified via an iterative coding process using either NVivo Pro 11 or Atlas.ti software.

Results from this study will be delivered to the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority Medical Director as well as all other interested parties from Stanton Territorial Hospital and the Health and Social Services Authorities of the three territories. The research team will also deliver the results of this research to any physician who participates in the survey or phone interview. Furthermore, the team hope to present the research during Grand Rounds at the various hospitals or clinic sites in which the survey is administered. If themes surface that the team feel may be relevant to patients or to community members, creating educational materials to provide to interested parties from the community will be considered.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 14, 2019 to December 31, 2019.