The Importance of Quinquenary Prevention: A Critical Reflection

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Isabel Inês Loureiro - Corresponding Author

Isabel Inês Loureiro []
Rua da moita, nº4, 1º direito, 4490-522 Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal


The daily life of a family doctor is often about acting and promoting different forms of prevention in patients. In 2014, a new form of prevention emerged - the quinquenary prevention. This prevents harm to the patient, acting on the doctor through strategies that aim to reduce burnout. It is important to reduce burnout because it has consequences for the patient, the physician and, consequently, the healthcare system. In recent years, studies have been conducted regarding the appearance of burnout in physicians compared to other professions. However, it is necessary to point out that this value may be underestimated and the real value may be higher. If the patient needs someone to “look after him”, the doctor needs the same or to be able to take care of himself, since it is assumed that this is the “stable foundation” in the doctor-patient relationship. It is necessary to care for physicians, since happier and more fulfilled professionals will make more appropriate decisions in patient care. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the prevalence and/or severity of this issue, particularly in primary health care. Thus, the physician needs to take the time to do the quinquenary prevention with realistic goals in mind. There are some burnout interventions that meet this quinquenary prevention and can be applied daily at the physician/healthcare professional, patient, workplace, and administration/ government levels. The self-aware, balanced, energetic and resilient physician is the one who is less susceptible to burnout and the one who contributes to a positive work environment for his/her colleagues.

Keywords: Burnout, Professional/prevention & control; COVID-19; Physicians, Primary Care

Article Details

Loureiro I. The Importance of Quinquenary Prevention: A Critical Reflection. Gaz Med [Internet]. 2023 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 May 20];10(2):138-41. Available from: