A Network Intervention to Improve Physician Well-Being

Last registered on June 10, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

A Network Intervention to Improve Physician Well-Being
Initial registration date
September 27, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 05, 2022, 11:42 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
June 10, 2023, 1:09 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Stanford University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Stanford University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We will run a RCT to test the causal effect of workplace peer interactions on physician mental health and well-being. We will test the mechanisms for both the positive effects (e.g., directly buffering job stress and indirectly coping with job stress) and the negative effects (e.g., social contagion and social comparison). We will test heterogeneous effects through subgroup analyses based on these mechanisms. For example, we will test whether the positive effects are larger for the same-specialty dyads (buffering) and the female-female dyads (coping), and whether the negative effects are larger for the dyads that includes a burnt-out doctor (social contagion) and for the dyads with more power-distance (social comparison). We will compare the peer-support intervention with individual-based intervention. We will also explore the intervention's effects on performance (i.e., health care safety and quality).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Li, Lambert Zixin and Jeffrey Pfeffer. 2023. "A Network Intervention to Improve Physician Well-Being." AEA RCT Registry. June 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10137-3.0
Experimental Details


We will evaluate a peer support program and/or a mental health training to doctors in a Chinese hospital group. In the peer support program, the dyadic peer will be randomly assigned to rule out selection effect and identify causal interaction effect. The program is expected to take about three months and will be conducted by professionals.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Burnout will be measured by validated scales such as MBI-HSS (MP) and Mini-Z.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Other mental health and well-being outcomes (e.g., happiness, life and job satisfaction, anxiety and depressive symptoms, health behaviors). Health care quality outcomes (e.g., patient outcomes and evidence-based medicine).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Mental health and well-being will be measured with validated scales. Happiness will be measured with both self-reports and other-reports for cross validation. Patient safety will also be cross validated.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Treatment 1: mental health training only
Treatment 2: mental health training+peer support (weak social interaction: contacts only)
Treatment 3: mental health training+peer support (strong social interaction: contacts+facilitated discussion)
Control 1: doctors in the same hospital who did not sign up (to rule out selection bias)
Control 2: doctors in a similar hospital who did not sign up (to estimate spillover effect)
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer generated random matrix done in public.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Estimate/target only: T1: 240, T2: 240, T3: 240, C1: 80, C2: 80
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Stanford University IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Analysis Plan

MD5: a95915dbffe51eba7eec3cbda9604228

SHA1: f4f18e705f6456a802446c9ab252016adca421e3

Uploaded At: June 10, 2023


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials