The effect of job strain on British general practitioners' mental health

O'Connor, D. B., O'Connor, R. C. , White, B. L. and Bundred, P. E. (2000) The effect of job strain on British general practitioners' mental health. Journal of Mental Health, 9(6), pp. 637-654. (doi:10.1080/jmh.9.6.637.654)

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Abstract

Questionnaires assessing mental health, job satisfaction, psychological job demands and job control were distributed randomly to 1000 GPs and 400 white-collar workers in the North of England. First, levels of mental health and job satisfaction were compared between the groups. GPs were significantly more depressed and less satisfied with their job compared to the white-collar sample. Surprisingly, female GPs experienced similar levels of poor mental health and job dissatisfaction as their male counterparts. Secondly, GPs were classified according to Karasek's (1979) job strain model as 'high strain' GPs (defined as high demands & low job control), 'active' GPs (high demands & high control), 'passive' GPs (low demands & low control) and 'low strain' GPs (low demands & high control). As hypothesised, 'high strain' GPs exhibited significantly greater levels of job dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms (e.g. suicidal ideation, loss of sexual interest, feeling hopeless about the future) than all other groups, with 38% scoring equal to or above the threshold for potential clinical depression. These findings are considered within the job strain paradigm and the implications for patient care and future interventions are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Connor, Professor Rory
Authors: O'Connor, D. B., O'Connor, R. C., White, B. L., and Bundred, P. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Mental Health
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0963-8237
ISSN (Online):1360-0567
Published Online:06 July 2009

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