- Individualized interventions aimed at physicians yielded a moderate reduction in depression symptoms, general psychological distress, anxiety, and suicidal ideation in physicians.
Why this matters
- Studies suggest that physicians have a higher incidence of mental health issues and a greater risk for suicide compared with the general population.
- This meta-analysis identified a concerning lack of research on programs to reduce symptoms of mental health problems in physicians, particularly organizational-level interventions.
- MEDLINE, EMBASE, and other electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled studies or controlled before-after studies of interventions to reduce depression, anxiety, or suicidality in physicians.
- Systematic review included 8 studies involving 1023 physicians that compared outcomes between an intervention and any type of control group.
- Funding: Australian Government; iCare Foundation.
- Moderate reduction in overall mental health symptoms favoring intervention vs the control group was observed (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.62; P<.0001 studies>
- Intervention vs control group showed moderate reduction in symptoms of:
- depression (SMD, 0.53; P=.0019; 3 studies),
- general psychological distress (SMD, 0.65; P<.0001 studies>
- anxiety (SMD, 0.71; P=.035; 1 study), and
- suicidal ideation (risk ratio, 0.40; P=.03; 1 study).
- Small number of studies included.
- Short-term follow-up.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD