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Postgrad Med J 77:109-111 doi:10.1136/pmj.77.904.109
  • Original article

Psychological stress, anxiety, depression, job satisfaction, and personality characteristics in preregistration house officers

  1. D Newbury-Birch,
  2. F Kamali
  1. Wolfson Unit of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
  1. Dr Kamalifarhad.kamali{at}ncl.ac.uk
  • Received 5 November 1999
  • Accepted 22 June 2000

Abstract

Work related stress and anxiety may have a profound effect on an individual's wellbeing. In the case of doctors this may also affect patient care. This study measured stress, anxiety, and job satisfaction and the influence of personality factors on these in a group of preregistration house officers in the north east of England. A total of 109 preregistration house officers anonymously completed a lifestyles questionnaire designed to measure self rated psychological stress, state anxiety, job satisfaction, and personality characteristics. Results showed that 37.5% of women and 24% of men preregistration house officers suffered from possible psychological stress. Altogether 38.9% of women and 5.4% of men were suffering from possible anxiety and 8.3% of women and 2.7% of men were suffering from possible depression. The mean (SD) job satisfaction scores were 83.8(17.4) (range 52–127; median 86.5) for men and 80.5(16.7) (range 41–114; median 81) for women. Altogether 30.6% of men and 41.7% of women reported to be dissatisfied with the organisational processes in their job. There were significant negative correlations between stress and job satisfaction scores (r = −0.508; p<0.0001) and between anxiety and job satisfaction scores (r = −0.421; p<0.0001), and significant positive associations between anxiety and stress scores (r = 0.593; p<0.0001). Stress, anxiety, and depression scores were significantly correlated with neuroticism scores in both men and women. The personality characteristic of neuroticism was a predisposing factor for stress and anxiety in the junior doctors which may be taken into consideration when offering support and counselling.

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