Journal Article

Association between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Pereira-Lima K, Mata DA, Loureiro SR, et al. JAMA network open. 2019;2:e1916097.

This systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies with a valid measure of physician (n=21,517) depressive symptoms found that physicians who screened positive for depression were associated with medical errors.  The authors also conducted a meta-analysis of 7 longitudinal studies, which revealed there was a bidirectional association between physician symptoms of depression and medical errors. This finding implies that physicians that screen positive for depressive symptoms have a higher risk for medical errors. The authors recommend that future studies need to focus on whether interventions to reduce physician depressive symptoms could play a role in reducing medical errors and improving safe patient care.