Ability of the Well-Being Index to identify pharmacists in distress

Lee P. Skrupky, Colin Patrick West, Tait D Shanafelt, Daniel V. Satele, Liselotte N. Dyrbye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Well-being and distress are important issues in the pharmacist workforce; yet, there is limited evidence evaluating the validity of practical screening tools among pharmacists. Objectives: To evaluate the ability of the Well-Being Index (WBI) to (1) identify the well-being and dimensions of distress in pharmacists, and (2) stratify pharmacists’ likelihood of adverse professional consequences. Methods: In July 2019, a national sample of pharmacists completed the Web-based version of the 9-item WBI (score range −2 to 9) and standardized instruments to assess quality of life (QOL), fatigue, burnout, concern for a recent major medication error, and intent to leave the current job. The Fisher exact test or chi-square test was used, as appropriate, to obtain the univariate odds ratio, posttest probabilities, and likelihood ratios associated with the WBI score for each outcome. Results: A total of 2231 pharmacists completed the survey. The most common practice settings were community pharmacies—chain (36.7%) and independent (10.7%)—followed by hospitals or health systems (20.1%) and academia (11.7%). The mean overall WBI score was 3.3 ± 2.73 (mean ± SD). Low QOL, extreme fatigue, and burnout symptoms were present in 34.8%, 35.3%, and 59.1%, respectively, of the responders. As the WBI score increased, the odds for low QOL, fatigue, burnout, concern for a recent major medication error, and intent to leave the current position increased incrementally. The WBI score also stratified the odds of high QOL. Assuming a pretest burnout probability of 59.1% (prevalence of the overall sample), the WBI lowered the posttest probability to 2% or raised it to 98% with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87. Conclusion: The WBI may serve as a useful tool to gauge well-being and to identify pharmacists who may be experiencing important dimensions of distress and have increased risk for adverse professional consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology

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