Background: Physician satisfaction is a multidimensional concept related to many factors. Despite the wide range of research regarding factors affecting physician satisfaction in different European countries, there is a lack of literature reviews analyzing and summarizing current evidence. The aim of the article is to synthetize the literature studying the factors associated with physician satisfaction. Methods: We searched: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library from January 2000 to January 2017. The eligibility criteria included: (1) target population: physicians working in European hospitals; (2) quantitative research aimed at assessing physician satisfaction and associated factors; (3) use of validated tools. We performed a narrative synthesis. Results: After screening 8585 records, 368 full text articles were independently checked and finally 24 studies were included for qualitative analysis. The included studies surveyed 20,000 doctors from 12 European countries. The tools and scales used in the analyzed research to measure physician satisfaction varied to a large extent. We extracted all pre-specified factors, reported as statistically significant/non-significant. Analyzed factors were divided into three groups: personal, intrinsic and contextual factors. The majority of factors are modifiable and positively associated with characteristics of contextual factors, such as work-place setting/work environment. In the group of work-place related factors, quality of management/leadership, opportunity for professional development and colleague support have been deemed statistically significant in numerous studies. Conclusions: We identified more studies appraising the effect of contextual factors (such as work environment, work-place characteristics), highlighting a positive association between those factors and physician satisfaction, compared with personal and intrinsic factors. Numerous studies confirmed statistically significant associations between physician satisfaction and quality of management, professional development and colleague support/team climate. Due to the health workforce crisis, knowledge regarding physician satisfaction and associated factors is essential to healthcare managers and policy makers for more stable human resources management.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited