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Table 3 Associations between communication patterns and burnout: single-item analysis

From: Investigating the association between physicians self-efficacy regarding communication skills and risk of “burnout”

Variables All physicians (n = 211)
N (%)
Physicians with burnout (n = 124)
N (%)
OR 95% CI P value
Factors associated with high risk of burnout
 Breaking bad news means discussing a poor prognosis
  Yes 136 (64%) 86 (69%) 1.94 1.03–3.64 0.039
  No 75 (36%) 38 (31%)
 Breaking bad news is stressful
  Yes 78 (37%) 57 (46%) 2.92 1.49–5.73 0.001
  No 133 (63%) 67 (54%)
 Discussing prognosis is talking about the success of treatment options
  Yes 75 (36%) 52 (42%) 2.12 1.05–4.28 0.036
  No 136 (64%) 72 (58%)
 Self-evaluating as unskilled at patient-physician communication
  Yes 44 (22%) 31 (27%) 2.27 1.04–4.75 0.029
  No 156 (78%) 85 (73%)
 Professional Role
  Resident 93 (46%) 60 (51%) 1.75 1.00–3.04 0.049
  Consultant 109 (54%) 57 (49%)
Factors associated with low risk of burnout
 Having a consistent plan for communication
  Yes 80 (38%) 40 (32%) 0.37 0.14–0.96 0.040
  No 130 (62%) 84 (68%)
 Breaking bad news only considered as emotionally engaging
  Yes 158 (75%) 89 (72%) 0.56 0.31–0.98 0.042
  No 53 (25%) 35 (28%)
 Addressing patients’ emotions with empathic responses
  Yes 137 (66%) 71 (58%) 0.39 0.18–0.85 0.017
  No 72 (34%) 51 (42%)
 Discussing prognosis with the goal of promoting awareness of illness trajectory, therapeutic choices and to optimize patients’ adjustment
  Yes 119 (69%) 65 (63%) 0.44 0.24–0.82 0.010
  No 53 (31%) 38 (37%)
 Sharing decisions with patients
  Yes 86 (41%) 42 (34%) 0.46 0.24–0.88 0.019
  No 125 (59%) 82 (66%)
 Mastering communication skills by using textbooks and scientific literature
  Yes 13 (6%) 3 (2%) 0.18 0.01–0.68 0.011
  No 198 (94%) 121 (98%)
 Self-evaluating communication skills as good or very good
  Yes 74 (35%) 30 (24%) 0.31 0.17–0.56 0.000
  No 136 (75%) 93 (76%)
 Years from graduation
  6–16 60 (52%) 29 (23%a) 0.29 0.13–0.67 0.003
  0–3 55 (48%) 37 (30%a)
  1. aThe sum of these fractions is < 1 as the two compared covariates represent only a part of the whole responders cohort
  2. Shown are only statistically significant associations. Percentages are calculated as fractions of responders to each item
  3. Abbreviations: OR Odds Ratio, CI Confidence Interval