Measuring Stress Among Physicians’ Working On-Duty at King Fahad General Hospital In Jeddah, 2013

Faisal Ahmad Aljuhani

JPFCM, Jeddah

Background: Physicians are exposed to many stressors, such as the burden imposed by expectations of a high degree of professionalism, responsibility for patient well-being and maintenance of relationships with patients and health workers, as well as concerns about medical errors and malpractice litigation.

Objectives: To determine association of 24-hours hospital On-Duty with stress among physicians as well as to compare the level of stress between physicians who work 24-hours hospital On-Duty to those who do not in King Fahad General Hospital in Jeddah at 2013.

Subjects and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in May 2013 including physicians in King Fahad General Hospital in Jeddah city who were available at the time of study conduction. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaire included information about socio-demographic data of physicians.  In addition, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was utilized to measure the degree to which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful among them.

Results: The study included 173 physicians with a response rate of 68.4%. Their age ranged between 24 and 59 years with a mean of 35.69 years and standard deviation of 7.6 years. Most of them (76.9%) were males and Saudis. Almost two-thirds (65.3%) of physicians reported a history of 24-hours hospital on duty. The perceived stress scale score (PSS) ranged between 11 and 32 with a mean of 22.71, median of 24 and standard deviation of 4.12. (Extremes were 0-40). PSS score was significantly higher among Saudi physicians compared to non-Saudi physicians (mean ranks were 92.56 versus 68.50), p=0.007. PSS score was significantly higher among physicians who had 24-hours hospital duty compared to those who had no 24-hours hospital duty (mean ranks were 100.06 versus 62.40), p<0.001.PSS score was also significantly high amongresidents (mean rank= 101.21), p=0.003.Diabetic physicians expressed higher significant PSS score compared to non-diabetics (mean rank were 130.46 and 83.76, respectively, p=0.002). PSS score was highest among orthopedic surgeons (mean rank= 108.84) and general surgeons (mean rank=108.03) followed by ER physicians (mean rank=101.47) whereas it was lowest among dermatologists (mean rank=30.13). The difference was statistically significant, p<0.001.

Conclusions: This study identified that physicians at King Fahad general hospital in Jeddah do face considerable amount of stress at work place. Saudi, surgeons, emergency physicians, residents, those who had 24-hours hospital duty and those with diabetic history expressed significant higher perceived stress score than others.

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