A systematic review of interventions aiming to improve newly-qualified doctors’ wellbeing in the United Kingdom

Aditya Krishnan*, Opeyemi Odejimi, Ian Bertram, Priyamvada Sneha Chukowry, George Tadros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Newly-qualified doctors in the United Kingdom experience a great deal of stress and have poor wellbeing when compared to more senior counterparts. A number of interventions have been put in place to boost healthcare professionals' wellbeing, but little is known about interventions aimed to improve the wellbeing of newly-qualified doctors in the United Kingdom. This study aims to systematically review current evidence of interventions which improved the wellbeing of newly-qualified junior doctors in the United Kingdom.

METHODS: Five key electronic databases were searched. Subsequently, reference scanning and citation search was performed. Studies were included if they were conducted from the commencement of the Foundation Programme in 2004, until 2019. In addition, studies had to be performed on junior doctors: working in the United Kingdom and within their first five years post-qualification and have a quantitative outcome. Studies which did not meet these criteria were excluded. Quality was assessed using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Bias was not formally assessed using a standardised tool.

RESULTS: Seven papers met the inclusion criteria and identified three main types of interventions: mentorship, mindfulness and clinical preparation interventions. The majority of included studies reported a positive result from the performed intervention, suggesting these to be beneficial in improving junior doctor wellbeing, and thereby reducing anxiety and stress levels. However, most of the studies used small sample sizes.

CONCLUSIONS: This review reveals that there is dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of intervention to improve the wellbeing of newly-qualified doctors in the United Kingdom. Most of the identified interventions focused on relieving stress and anxiety inherent within newly-qualified doctors' training programmes. However, wellbeing interventions need to take into cognisance all the factors which impact on wellbeing, particularly job-related factors. We recommend that future researchers implement large-scale holistic interventions using appropriate research methods.


Original languageEnglish
Article number161
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Research
  • Junior doctor
  • Wellbeing
  • Intervention
  • United Kingdom
  • Systematic review
  • Physician
  • Newly-qualified doctor
  • Stress
  • Burnout
  • Physicians
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness
  • Health Personnel


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