Original Research

A cross-sectional self-assessment of burnout amongst a sample of doctors in Ghana

Nana K. Ayisi-Boateng, Elizabeth M. Bankah, Gerhard K. Ofori-Amankwah, Dora A. Egblewogbe, Emmanuel Ati, Douglas A. Opoku, Emmanuel Appiah-Brempong, Kathryn Spangenberg
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2336 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2336 | © 2020 Nana K. Ayisi-Boateng, Elizabeth M. Bankah, Gerhard K. Ofori-Amankwah, Dora A. Egblewogbe, Emmanuel Ati, Douglas A. Opoku, Emmanuel Appiah-Brempong, Kathryn Spangenberg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 December 2019 | Published: 19 August 2020

About the author(s)

Nana K. Ayisi-Boateng, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Elizabeth M. Bankah, Department of Family Medicine, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Gerhard K. Ofori-Amankwah, Department of Medical Services, FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Dora A. Egblewogbe, Polyclinic/Family Medicine Sub BMC, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Emmanuel Ati, Family Medicine Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Douglas A. Opoku, School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Emmanuel Appiah-Brempong, School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Kathryn Spangenberg, Family Medicine Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana


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Abstract

Background: The occurrence of burnout amongst African health professionals has been widely anticipated, but there is a dearth of published data, especially amongst doctors. Burnout has been reported to be as high as 53% amongst doctors in the United States. If not detected, it can result in prescription errors, work-related accidents, substance abuse and depression.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of burnout and its associated factors amongst a sample of physicians in Ghana.

Setting: This study was conducted in Kumasi amongst physicians attending a conference organised by the West African College of Physicians, Ghana Chapter.

Method: A cross-sectional study. Of the 90 physicians who registered for the conference, 60 responded to a self-administered Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire. Data were analysed descriptively and inferentially using STATA® version 14.

Results: Approximately 52% of respondents had been in medical practice for 10–19 years (mean 15.4 years). All the major medical specialties were represented. Internal Medicine had the highest number of participants (48.3%). With respect to the components of burnout, 5.5% of respondents experienced depersonalisation, 7.8% had a lack of personal achievement and 10.8% experienced emotional exhaustion. The association between burnout and age, sex, years of practice and clinical specialty was not found to be statistically significant.

Conclusion: This pilot study has shown burnout to be common amongst physicians in Ghana. It is recommended that further studies are conducted, involving a larger cross-section of doctors in various parts of Africa.


Keywords

burnout; depersonalisation; exhaustion; Ghana; physician

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