Objective To understand the job burnout levels of the clinical research coordinators(CRCs) in China and propose relevant coping strategies in order to promote the development of the CRC profession and ensure the quality of clinical trials.
Methods Using convenient sampling, an online survey of CRCs in China was conducted in November 2019 through core liaisons of the China CRC Home with the job burnout scale(Chinese version) to measure CRC job burnout levels.Logistic regression models were used to analyze factors influencing job burnout.
Results A total of 3 139 questionnaires were distributed, and 2 840 valid responses were received, for an effective response rate of 90.5%. The majority of respondents were female(94.9%) and unmarried(64.2%). The scores for dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and educed personal accomplishment were 11.72 ± 5.64, 6.65 ± 4.77, and 15.79 ± 6.62, respectively. The prevalence of job burnout in these CRCs was 51.4%, including 758 individuals with mild burnout(26.7%), 504 individuals with moderate burnout(17.7%), and 199 individuals with severe burnout(7.0%). Logistic regression analysis showed that, compared to CRCs aged ≤ 25 years old, those aged 26-30 were less likely to experience job burnout(OR=0.79, P < 0.05). CRCs with work experience of 1-2 years or > 2 years had 1.30 and 1.37 times higher odds of job burnout than those with less than 1 year of work experience(P < 0.05). CRCs working ≥ 48 hours per week had a 1.96-fold higher risk of job burnout compared to those working < 40 hours per week(P < 0.05). Being unmarried, working in a first-tier city, not receiving respect and support from researchers, having an unclear understanding of CRC career prospects, and lacking a sense of belonging to the affiliated organization increased the risk of work burnout by 1.37, 1.70, 1.93, 1.81, and 2.36 times, respectively(P < 0.05).
Conclusions CRCs in China had a high prevalence of job burnout. The measures, including implementing a fixed-point working model for CRCs to work in one research center, enhancing humanistic care, improving salary and incentive systems, and accelerating the establishment of CRC certification and training systems, could improve the comprehensive quality and capacity of the CRC workforce, reduce job burnout, and increase the quality of clinical trials in China.