Prevalence of and factors associated with burnout in midwifery: A scoping review
Rawel Sidhu 1
Bowen Su 1
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Vancouver Fraser Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Division of Midwifery, Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Kathrin Stoll   

Division of Midwifery, Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Publication date: 2020-02-11
Submission date: 2019-11-27
Final revision date: 2019-12-27
Acceptance date: 2019-12-28
Eur J Midwifery 2020;4(February):4
Midwifery care meets the triple aims of health system improvement, i.e. good health outcomes, high client satisfaction, and low per capita costs. Scaling up access to midwifery care is a global priority yet the growth and sustainability of the profession is threatened by high levels of burnout and attrition. This scoping review provides a comprehensive review of the existing literature on burnout in midwifery, with a focus on prevalence, associated factors and potential solutions.

Four electronic databases were searched to locate relevant literature up to July 2019. A total of 1034 articles were identified and reduced to 27 articles that met inclusion criteria. We summarize sample sizes, settings, study designs, burnout measures, prevalence of burnout, associated factors and potential solutions, and recommendations.

Prevalence of burnout was highest among Australian, Western Canadian and Senegalese midwives and lowest among Dutch and Norwegian midwives. Midwives working in caseload/continuity models reported significantly lower burnout compared to midwives working in other models. We identified 26 organizational and personal factors that were significantly associated with burnout, such as high workload, exposure to traumatic events, and fewer years in practices. Organizational support to improve work-life balance and emotional well-being, as well as more continuing education to raise awareness about burnout and how to cope with it, emerged as common strategies to prevent and address burnout.

Burnout is a serious and complex occupational phenomenon. More qualitative research is needed in this area, to better understand the lived experience of burnout.

The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
This study was supported by Stollery Grant, Division of Midwifery, University of British Columbia.
RS conceived the study concept and design, under the supervision of KS. RS and BS conducted the literature review and acquired, analyzed and summarized findings. KS assisted with study selection, interpretation of the data, and double-checked all data points abstracted from the articles and presented in Tables 1 and 2. RS, BS and KS drafted the manuscript, with RS providing the first full draft, while KS and KRS provided editorial support. KRS also contributed with data checking and manuscript formatting support. All authors provided critical feedback and shaped the direction of the scoping review.
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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