Health complaints and job stress in Norwegian physicians: the use of an overlapping questionnaire design

Aasland OG, Olff M, Falkum E, Schweder T, Ursin H. Social Science and Medicine 1997; 45(11): 1615-29.

Article in English.

Abstract on Pubmed: An extensive research program has been undertaken in Norway on physician health, sickness, working conditions and quality of life. Data are collected from cross-sectional and longitudinal prospective and retrospective surveys, qualitative studies, and vital statistics. This paper presents findings on subjectively experienced health problems, emotional distress, experienced job stress and job satisfaction, based on an extensive cross-sectional postal questionnaire study in 1993. An overlapping questionnaire design was used to allow many relationships to be estimated without exhausting the recipients. 9266 active physicians were included, which comprises close to the total Norwegian physician work-force minus a representative sample of 2100, used for other studies. The primary questionnaire was returned by 6652 (71.8%), the great majority of which also returned three secondary questionnaires. The results indicate that health complaints were significantly more frequent in female physicians and decreased with age. Low job satisfaction, high job stress, and emotional distress were all found to be significant predictors of subjective health complaints, as measured by the Ursin Health Inventory.

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