Burnout among general practitioners

  • and associations with mental wellbeing and job satisfaction

The working conditions for general practitioners have changed over recent years. This development is driven by multiple factors, such as more elderly people with multiple chronic diseases, faster discharge from hospital, increased help-seeking among citizens and more complex health issues to be dealt with in consultations.

Previous studies have shown lower job satisfaction and more burnout among general practitioners in both Denmark and abroad. Against this background, the Danish Organization of General Practitioners (PLO) has carried out several nationwide questionnaire surveys among its members to uncover the extent of burnout in Denmark, and how it interacts with job satisfaction and shortage of general practitioners.

These 'GP job satisfaction' surveys were carried out by our research group in 2012, 2016 and 2019 in collaboration with the Research Unit for General Practice in Aarhus.

Selected publications

  • Pedersen AF, Vedsted P. BMJ Open. Burnout, coping strategies and help-seeking in general practitioners: a two-wave survey study in Denmark. 2022 Feb 21;12(2):e051867. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051867.
  • Nørøxe KB, Pedersen AF, Helles A et al. Mental well-being, job satisfaction and self-rated workability in general practitioners and hospitalisations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions among listed patients: A cohort study combining survey data on GPs and register data on patients. BMJ Qual Saf. 2019 Dec;28(12):997-1006. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2018-009039
  • Nørøxe KB, Vedsted P, Bro F et al. Mental well-being and job satisfaction in general practitioners in Denmark and their patients' change of general practitioner: A cohort study combining survey data and register data. BMJ Open. 2019 Nov 5;9(11):e030142. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030142


Why is this important?

Burnout can be prevented and treated. The choice of support depends on the severity of burnout. By directing attention to low wellbeing in general practice, we hope that general practitioners will become more aware of burnout and more willing to reach out for help.