LEFO - Legeforskningsinstituttet

Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession

IPOQ 2013: Research on health and working conditions of the medical profession

Olaf Gjerløw Aasland

Good work-home balance. The importance of non-medical cultural activities
7. november 2013

Olaf Gjerløv Aasland, MD, MHA, is the director at LEFO – Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession, Norwegian Medical Association and a professor at Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo. His academic interests are doctors’ behaviour, doctors’ morbidity and mortality and use of qualitative methods to learn more about the art and culture of doctoring.

Good work-home balance – the importance of non-medical cultural activities
Work-home conflicts are certain predictors of stress and burnout. In one of our doctor studies, work-related factors (job performance-based self-esteem and job self-efficacy), individual factors (workload, work hours, time pressure, role conflict and lack of autonomy) and work-home interaction (facilitation or conflict) were all significant predictors of burnout (as measured by the OLBI). In this presentation I will show how non-medical cultural activities may reduce stress and job dissatisfaction. Based on survey data we constructed a cultural index, consisting reading of non-medical literature for more than 20 minutes over the past day, playing a musical instrument, playing in an orchestra or singing in a choir (1 point for each of the three activities), plus visits to the cinema, theatre, opera and concerts of classical or popular music (1 point for 1 – 4 visits and 2 points for five or more visits over the last 12 months). We found a significant correlation between the doctors’ level of cultural activity and their job satisfaction, general satisfaction, self-reported health and physical activity. The doctors who engage most frequently in cultural activities are thus most satisfied with their work and with life in general.

Look at Olaf G. Aasland's presentation in the attached file (pdf), and listen to the music performed by Per Arne Glorvigen - La Rayuela (Julio De Caro). You can find more information about Aasland's study via theese links from The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association: