Psychosocial Environment, Burnout and Work Wellness among Physicians: Testing the Health Impairment Process of the Job Demands-Resources Theory

  • Tahira Mubashar Medical School Hamburg
  • Sumaira Rafique Independent Learning Centre, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: psychosocial demands, burnout, work wellness, job demands-resource theory


Physician wellness is complex and multifaceted; individual, professional, and organizational factors might affect it. The demanding nature of the healthcare profession places physicians at an increased risk of burnout, adversely affecting their well-being and the quality of patient care. The present research investigates the intricate relationship between psychosocial demands, burnout, and work wellness in physicians, utilizing the framework of the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R; Bakker & Demerouti, 2001)  Theory. Specifically, the study aims to test the Health Impairment Process, examining how psychosocial demands within the healthcare profession may lead to burnout and subsequently impact overall work wellness among physicians. The sample consisted of 251 medical doctors (n =102 women, n = 149 men). Copenhagen psychosocial questionnaire (COPSOQ; Psychosocial Department, National Institute of Occupational Health, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1997), Oldenburg burnout inventory (OLBI; Demerouti, Bakker, & Nachreiner, 1998), and the perceived wellness survey (PWS; Adams et al., 1997) were used for assessment of study variables. Pearson product-moment correlation revealed a positive relationship between psychosocial demands and burnout whereas psychosocial demands and burnout were negatively related to the well-being of physicians. Further, the model testing analysis showed that burnout mediates the relationship between psychosocial demands and diminished work wellness among physicians. The empirical support for the Health Impairment Process underscores the need for targeted interventions addressing psychosocial demands to mitigate burnout and enhance overall work wellness. By pinpointing specific stressors and their impact on physicians, this study offers valuable insights for developing evidence-based strategies to promote a healthier work environment in the medical field.