Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees; a quantitative analysis of the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study

Elaine Wainwright, Alex Looseley, Tim Cook, V Bell, S Hoskins, M O'Connor, G Taylor, R Mouton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


There is growing evidence that anaesthetic trainees experience, and may be particularly susceptible to, high levels of work stress, burnout and depression. This is concern for the safety and wellbeing of these doctors and for the patients they treat. To date, there has been no in-depth evaluation of these issues among UK anaesthetic trainees to examine which groups may be most affected, and to identify the professional and personal factors with which they are associated. We conducted an anonymous electronic survey to determine the prevalence of perceived stress, risk of burnout/depression and work satisfaction among anaesthetic trainees within South-West England and Wales, and explored in detail the influence of key baseline characteristics, lifestyle and anaesthetic training variables. We identified a denominator of 619 eligible participants and received 397 responses, a response rate of 64%. We observed a high prevalence of perceived stress; 37% (95%CI 32–42%), burnout risk 25% (21–29%) and depression risk 18% (15–23%), and found that these issues frequently co-exist. Having no children, > 3 days sickness absence in the previous year, ≤ 1 h.week −1 of exercise and > 7.5 h.week −1 of additional non-clinical work were independant predictors of negative psychological outcomes. Although female respondents reported higher stress, burnout risk was more likely in male respondents. This information could help in the identification of at-risk groups as well as informing ways to support these groups and to influence resource and intervention design. Targeted interventions, such as modification of exercise behaviour and methods of reducing stressors relating to non-clinical workloads, warrant further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1239
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Early online date15 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • anaesthetic training
  • burnout
  • wellbeing
  • work satisfaction
  • work stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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