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A systematic review of interventions to foster physician resilience
  1. Susan Fox1,
  2. Sinéad Lydon1,
  3. Dara Byrne2,
  4. Caoimhe Madden1,
  5. Fergal Connolly1,
  6. Paul O’Connor1
  1. 1 Department of Primary Care and the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  2. 2 Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul O’Connor, Department of Primary Care, NUI Galway, Distillery Road, Galway, Ireland; paul.oconnor{at}


This review aimed to synthesise the literature describing interventions to improve resilience among physicians, to evaluate the quality of this research and to outline the type and efficacy of interventions implemented. Searches were conducted in April 2017 using five electronic databases. Reference lists of included studies and existing review papers were screened. English language, peer-reviewed studies evaluating interventions to improve physician resilience were included. Data were extracted on setting, design, participant and intervention characteristics and outcomes. Methodological quality was assessed using the Downs and Black checklist. Twenty-two studies were included. Methodological quality was low to moderate. The most frequently employed interventional strategies were psychosocial skills training and mindfulness training. Effect sizes were heterogeneous. Methodologically rigorous research is required to establish best practice in improving resilience among physicians and to better consider how healthcare settings should be considered within interventions.

  • resilience
  • systematic review
  • intervention

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  • Contributors SF, SL, DB and POC were all involved in the design and planning of the study. SF conducted the searches. SF, CM and FC were responsible for completing the data extraction, quality assessment and data analysis. SF drafted the initial manuscript with all other authors assisting with redrafting it. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding This research was supported through funding from the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Authors are happy to share the data, and these are available in the supplemental materials.