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May 18, 2020

Notice of Retraction: Panagioti et al. Association Between Physician Burnout and Patient Safety, Professionalism, and Patient Satisfaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(10):1317-1331.

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editor in Chief, JAMA
  • 2Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
  • 3Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(7):931. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1755

The University of Manchester Panel of Investigation has investigated concerns about the conduct of research following the reporting of errors in the Original Investigation, “Association Between Physician Burnout and Patient Safety, Professionalism, and Patient Satisfaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,”1-5 that was published online first on September 4, 2018, and in the October 2018 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. We received a report from the University of Manchester indicating the following: “the Panel of Investigation found no evidence of intentional fabrication. However, due to flaws in the systematic review process, it is likely that there are additional errors in the publication. The Panel therefore cannot confirm that the results of the meta-analysis are wholly valid and recommend the paper be retracted.” Thus, this article1 has been retracted.

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    1 Comment for this article
    This retraction is well deserved, and more will be indicated in view of expedited Peer Review during COVID-19
    Louise Andrew, MD JD | American Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians
    I am glad that  the editors  have had the courage to retract this study for all of the reasons  stated.

    In this day and age of thirst for critically important information with regard to COVID-19 it is understandable that expedited peer review should be occurring. But there will inevitably be gaps and errors, initially unapparent conflicts of interest, irreproducible results and other issues that result in items of lesser quality being published by any reputable outlet attempting to expand critical knowledge during a period of uncertainty.

    Although we must commend JAMA IM's courage
    in retracting this study, and cannot know whether it would have made a difference in this case (because we do not know the content of peer review) I believe it is time for JAMA publications to consider publishing peer review openly, as is done by a number of scientific and medical journals, so as to make more transparent any hidden potential for bias.  

    Furthermore, whoever is titling articles for JAMA publications must remain constantly aware that many lay readers, including reporters, will read only the headlines, may not be able to correctly interpret the science (see e.g. https://bit.ly/PandemicScienceOOC), and may then create false and misleading memes that are spread far more widely than the articles themselves.