Introducing the Hospitalist Morale Index: A new tool that may be relevant for improving provider retention

Shalini Chandra, Scott M. Wright, Sharon Ghazarian, George M. Kargul, Eric E. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To develop a valid instrument to assess morale and explore the relationship between morale and intent to leave employment due to unhappiness. PATIENTS AND METHODS: An expert panel identified 46 drivers of hospitalist morale. In May 2009, responders of our single-site pilot survey rated each driver in terms of current contentment and importance to their morale. With exploratory factor analysis, a 28-item/7-factor instrument emerged. In May 2011, the refined scale was distributed to 108 hospitalists from 2 academic and 3 community hospitals. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used for internal validation and refinement of the Hospitalist Morale Index. Importance ratings and contentment assessments were used to generate item scores, which were then combined to generate factor scores and personal morale scores. Results were used to validate the instrument and evaluate the relationship between hospitalist morale and intent to leave due to unhappiness. RESULTS: The 2011 response rate was 86%. The final CFA resulted in a 5-factor and 5-stand-alone-item model. Personal morale scores were normally distributed (mean = 2.79, standard deviation = 0.58). For every categorical increase on a global question that assessed overall morale, personal morale scores rose 0.23 points (P < 0.001). Each 1-point increase in personal morale score was associated with an 85% decrease (odds ratio: 0.15, 95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.41, P < 0.001) in the odds of intending to leave because of unhappiness. CONCLUSION: The Hospitalist Morale Index is a validated instrument that evaluates hospitalist morale across multiple dimensions of morale. The Hospitalist Morale Index may help program leaders monitor morale and develop customized and effective retention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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