Professional Secrecy as a stressor among Norwegian physicians

Løvseth L / Lovseth L, Aasland OG, Götestam GK Eur. J. Psychiat. 2005; Vol. 19, No 3: 159-164.

Article in English.

Abstract (not available on Pubmed):
The aim of the present study is to assess how the necessary practice of professional secrecy may he a stressor for doctors, and to what extent MM (mortality and morbidity)-meetings and having a doctor as a spouse or partner, may serve as outlets for emotional charge. A postal survey was sent to a stratified sample of 780 doctors working in and outside hospitals in a health region in Norway (1.1 million inhabitants). With a response rate of 46 percent (358 / 780), 22 percent of the respondents were identified as being high on stress and low on coping. 26 percent of the doctors participated regularly in MM-meetings. The risk of being stressed increased with increasing score on the scale for perceived lack of possibilities to discuss emotionally charged issues at work and at home. The doctors who participated in MM-meetings had a significantly reduced stress risk. Having a doctor as partner did not affect the stress level significantly. The results indicate that MM-meetings are effective in stress reduction among Norwegian doctors and should he a self-evident part of ordinary clinical activities.

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