Psychological distress amongst general practitioners

Holt, Jackie. (2003). Psychological distress amongst general practitioners PhD Thesis, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Holt, Jackie.
Thesis Title Psychological distress amongst general practitioners
School, Centre or Institute School of Population Health
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Prof. Chris Del Mar
Prof. Annette J. Dobson
Total pages 218
Language eng
Subjects 111714 Mental Health
329999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
L
Formatted abstract
There is emerging interest in the development of prevention and early intervention strategies to improve GP health. However, there is little quantifiable evaluation of these strategies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a simple tailored letter and self-care sheet, and an educational program, in reducing psychological morbidity amongst GPs.

Eight Divisions of General Practice self-selected into the research project. A baseline questionnaire was sent to all GPs in these Divisions. The questionnaire included a short form of the General Health Questionnaire used to identify psychological distress (GHQ- 12). Data were obtained from 819 GPs (60% response rate). This equated to a sample size of 5% of Australian general practice.

The respondents were a representative sample of Australian general practice. Two research designs were used in the project; a randomized controlled trial (RCT) was used to evaluate the letter and self-care sheet and a 'before/after' design was used to evaluate the educational program.

Two hundred and thirty-three (233) GPs were identified as being psychologically distressed by the GHQ-12. These GPs were randomly allocated to receive the letter and self-care sheet (experiment) or not (control). The educational program was offered to all GPs within each Division and consisted of four 3-hour sessions and a clinical audit component. It was limited to 15 participants in each Division on a 'first-come first-served' approach. Ninety (90) GPs enrolled in the education program.

The results from both the letter and self-care sheet and the educational program demonstrated a significant reduction in psychological morbidity. There were some methodological concerns for the 'before/after' research component and care needs to be used when interpreting the results.

The effectiveness of prevention and early intervention strategies in reducing psychological morbidity amongst GPs has implications for the development and implementation of coordinated responses to the issues associated with GP health. There is a place for well designed individual-centered approaches to health enhancement. However, a comprehensive approach is needed to ensure that any health gains are built on and sustained.
Keyword Physicians (General practice) -- Psychology
Physicians (General practice) -- Job stress

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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Created: Sat, 03 Sep 2011, 15:34:54 EST by Christina Delay on behalf of The University of Queensland Library