A new trial which explored the effect of individualised professional coaching on the well-being of physicians has found that it may be an effective way to reduce emotional exhaustion and overall burnout.
As part of the trial, 88 physicians were randomised to receive coaching sessions or to a control group. Participants in the intervention group received an initial one-hour professional coaching session followed by five 30-minute professional coaching sessions, all performed over telephone, over five months. The major themes discussed during these sessions included optimising meaning in work, addressing workload and engaging in self-care.
The study found the proportion of physicians with high emotional exhaustion at five months decreased by 19.5 per cent in the intervention group and increased by 9.8 per cent in the control group. Meanwhile, the prevalence of symptoms of burnout decreased by 17.1 per cent in the intervention group and increased by 4.9 per cent in the control group. Participants in the intervention group also had a significant improvement in the overall quality of life compared with controls. There were no statistically significant differences in depersonalisation, job satisfaction, engagement or meaning in work observed.
Writing in JAMA Internal Medicine, the authors concluded that professional coaching may be an effective way to improve physician well-being.