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Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Workplace Civility and Burnout Among VA Primary Care Providers.

Apaydin EA, Rose DE, Yano EM, Shekelle PG, Stockdale SE, Mohr DC. Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Workplace Civility and Burnout Among VA Primary Care Providers. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Feb 1; 37(3):632-636.

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BACKGROUND: Civility, or politeness, is an important part of the healthcare workplace, and its absence can lead to healthcare provider and staff burnout. Lack of civility is well-documented among mostly female nurses, but is not well-described among the gender-mixed primary care provider (PCP) workforce. Understanding civility and its relationship to burnout among male and female PCPs could help lead to tailored interventions to improve civility and reduce burnout in primary care. OBJECTIVE: To analyze gender differences in civility, burnout, and the relationship between civility and burnout among male and female PCPs. DESIGN: Multi-level logistic regression analysis of a cross-sectional national survey. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 3216 PCP respondents (1946 women and 1270 men) in 135 medical centers from a 2019 national Veterans Health Administration (VA) survey. MAIN MEASURES: Outcomes: burnout; predictors: workplace civility and gender; controls: race, ethnicity, VA tenure, and supervisory status. KEY RESULTS: Workplace civility was rated higher (p < 0.001) among male (mean = 4.07, standard deviation [SD] = 0.36, range 1-5) compared to female (mean = 3.88, SD = 0.33) PCPs. Almost half of the sample reported burnout (47.6%), but this difference was not significant (p = 0.73) between the genders. Higher workplace civility was significantly related to lower burnout among female PCPs (odds ratio [OR] = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.31 to 0.69), but not among male PCPs (OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.42 to 1.22). Interactions between civility and other demographic variables (race, ethnicity, VA tenure, or supervisory status) were not significantly related to burnout. CONCLUSION: Female PCPs report lower workplace civility than male PCPs. An inverse relationship between civility and burnout is present for women but not men. More research is needed on this phenomenon. Interventions tailored to gender- and primary care-specific needs should be employed to increase civility and reduce burnout among PCPs.

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