Teamwork is Associated with Reduced Hospital Staff Burnout at Military Treatment Facilities: Findings from the 2019 Department of Defense Patient Safety Culture Survey

Published:November 10, 2022DOI:



      A National Academies of Medicine report emphasizes the importance of creating positive work environments to address the negative effects of burnout on healthcare workers. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the scope of burnout among military hospital personnel and explore the relationship between teamwork, burnout, and patient safety culture.


      A logistic regression analysis investigated the relationship between teamwork and burnout using the 2019 United States Department of Defense Patient Safety Culture Survey data from 15,838 military hospital workers. Additional regressions investigated teamwork/burnout relationships among individual work areas and staff positions.


      About one-third of respondents (34.4%) reported experiencing burnout. Work areas most likely to report burnout included many different/other work areas (43.8%), pharmacy (41.8%), and labor and delivery/obstetrics (41.8%). Staff positions most likely to report burnout included pharmacy/pharmacists (39.7%), assistants/technicians/therapists (38.1%), and nurses/nursing (37.7%). Analysis revealed an association between lower burnout and high teamwork, both within (odds ratio [OR] = 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48–0.60) and across (OR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.57–-0.72) units. Within-unit teamwork was associated with reduced odds of burnout across almost all work areas and staff positions, with the greatest odds reduction among personnel working in emergency (OR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.14–-0.43), radiology (OR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.20–-0.83), and labor and delivery/obstetrics (OR = 0.42, 95% CI :0.27–-0.65) and physicians/medical staff (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.28–-0.69), other staff positions (OR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.28–-0.81), and assistants/technicians/therapists (OR = 0.58, 95% CI :0.46–-0.73).


      Effective teamwork may reduce burnout in hospital workers. This association between teamwork (especially teamwork within units) and burnout was found in all work areas, even in those with the highest levels of self-reported workplace chaos. Greater adoption of workplace interventions focused on improving teamwork, such as TeamSTEPPS Ò, is warranted.

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