Occupational well-being in pediatricians—a survey about work-related posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety

The objective of this study was to study mental health, coping, and support after work-related adverse events among pediatricians. Physicians are frequently exposed to adverse events. It makes them at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders. Besides the personal impact, physicians could pose a threat towards patients, as mental health problems are associated with medical errors. A questionnaire was sent to all members of the Pediatric Association of The Netherlands in October 2016. The questionnaire focused on adverse events, coping, and support. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Trauma Screening Questionnaire were included for evaluation of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Four hundred ten questionnaires (18.9%) were eligible for analysis. Seventy-nine % (n = 325) of the respondents experienced adverse events, with Bmissing a diagnosis^ having the most emotional impact and Baggressive behavior^ as the most common adverse event. Nine (2.2%) pediatricians scored above the cut-off value on the Trauma Screening Questionnaire, indicative of PTSD. In total, 7.3% (n = 30) and 14.1% (n = 58) scored above the cut-off values in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, indicative of depression and anxiety. Only 26.3% reported to have a peer support protocol available for emotional support following adverse events. Conclusion: Pediatricians experience a considerable amount of adverse and potentially traumatizing events associated with significantly higher mental health problems compared to the general high-income population. Aggression towards pediatricians seems to be a common problem. Protocolled (peer) support should be implemented.


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Minouk Esmée van Steijn & Karel Willem Frank Scheepstra & Gulfidan Yasar & Miranda Olff & Martine Charlotte de Vries & Maria Gabriel van Pampus | 2019
In: European Journal of Pediatrics ISSN: 0340-6199 (Print) 1432-1076 (Online) | 178 | 5 | may | 681-693
Anxiety Symptoms, Depressive Symptoms, Mental health, Pediatricians, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Traumatic events, Workplace Violence
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