Comparing the Maslach Burnout Inventory to Other Well-Being Instruments in Emergency Medicine Residents

Emergency Medicine Education Research Alliance (EMERA)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background : The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is considered the "gold standard" for measuring burnout, encompassing 3 scales: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Other well-being instruments have shown utility in various settings, and correlations between MBI and these instruments could provide evidence of relationships among key variables to guide well-being efforts. Objective : We explored correlations between the MBI and other well-being instruments. Methods : We fielded a multicenter survey of 9 emergency medicine (EM) residencies, administering the MBI and 4 published well-being instruments: a quality-of-life assessment, a work-life balance rating, an appraisal of career satisfaction, and the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire 2 question screen. Consistent with the Maslach definition, burnout was defined by high emotional exhaustion (> 26) and high depersonalization (> 12). Results : Of 334 residents, 261 (78%) responded. Residents who reported lower quality of life had higher emotional exhaustion (ρ = -0.437, P < .0001), higher depersonalization (ρ = -0.18, P < .005), and lower personal accomplishment (ρ = 0.347, P < .001). Residents who reported a negative work-life balance had emotional exhaustion (P < .001) and depersonalization (P < .009). Positive career satisfaction was associated with lower emotional exhaustion (P < .0001), lower depersonalization (P < .005), and higher personal accomplishment (P < .05). A positive depression screen was associated with higher emotional exhaustion, higher depersonalization, and lower personal achievement (all P < .0001). Conclusions : Our multicenter study of EM residents demonstrated that assessments using the MBI correlate with other well-being instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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