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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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)
Pages (from-to)906-914.e2
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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