Skip to Content

Depression Linked to Suicidal Ideation Among Physicians

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2020 -- Depression, but not physician burnout, is associated with suicidal ideation among physicians, while burnout is associated with increased self-reported medical errors, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in JAMA Network Open.

Nikitha K. Menon, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined the correlation between burnout and suicidal ideation after adjustment for depression in a cross-sectional study. Attending and postgraduate trainee physicians were invited to complete an online survey; data were included for 1,354 respondents.

The researchers found that the odds of suicidal ideation were increased significantly with each standard deviation (SD) unit increase in burnout (odds ratio, 1.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.47 to 2.31). The correlation did not persist after adjustment for depression (odds ratio, 0.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.63 to 1.17). Each SD-unit increase in depression was associated with significantly increased odds of suicidal ideation in the adjusted model (odds ratio, 3.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.30 to 3.95). Each SD-unit increase in burnout was associated with an increase in self-reported medical errors in the adjusted model (odds ratio, 1.48; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.28 to 1.71), while there was no correlation seen for depression with self-reported medical errors (odds ratio, 1.01; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.16).

"The findings of this study suggest that burnout without depression does not increase suicide risk and can therefore be safely addressed outside of mental health care," the authors write.

One author was coinventor of the instruments used in this study, and received a portion of royalties paid for their use.

Abstract/Full Text

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2020

Read this next

Rates of Suicide, Suicide Attempts Up for Individuals With Autism

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- The rates of suicide attempts and suicide are increased among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study published online...

Mental Health Disorders Common Among ICU Staff During COVID-19

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2021 -- Probable mental health disorders are common among intensive care unit (ICU) staff working in English hospitals during June and July 2020, according to a...

Lethal Means Counseling, Cable Locks Promote Safe Firearm Storage

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2021 -- Lethal means counseling and provision of cable locks result in greater adoption of safe storage methods for firearms, according to a study published...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.