Working conditions and Work-Family Conflict in German hospital physicians: psychosocial and organisational predictors and consequences

Fuß, Isabelle; Nübling, Matthias; Hasselhorn, Hans-Martin; Schwappach, David; Rieger, Monika A.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p353
Academic Journal
Background: Germany currently experiences a situation of major physician attrition. The incompatibility between work and family has been discussed as one of the major reasons for the increasing departure of German physicians for non-clinical occupations or abroad. This study investigates predictors for one particular direction of Work-Family Conflict - namely work interfering with family conflict (WIF) - which are located within the psychosocial work environment or work organisation of hospital physicians. Furthermore, effects of WIF on the individual physicians' physical and mental health were examined. Analyses were performed with an emphasis on gender differences. Comparisons with the general German population were made. Methods: Data were collected by questionnaires as part of a study on Psychosocial work hazards and strains of German hospital physicians during April-July 2005. Two hundred and ninety-six hospital physicians (response rate 38.9%) participated in the survey. The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), work interfering with family conflict scale (WIF), and hospital-specific single items on work organisation were used to assess WIF, its predictors, and consequences. Results: German hospital physicians reported elevated levels of WIF (mean = 74) compared to the general German population (mean = 45, p < .01). No significant gender difference was found. Predictors for the WIF were lower age, high quantitative demands at work, elevated number of days at work despite own illness, and consequences of short-notice changes in the duty roster. Good sense of community at work was a protective factor. Compared to the general German population, we observed a significant higher level of quantitative work demands among hospital physicians (mean = 73 vs. mean = 57, p < .01). High values of WIF were significantly correlated to higher rates of personal burnout, behavioural and cognitive stress symptoms, and the intention to leave the job. In contrast, low levels of WIF predicted higher job satisfaction, better self-judged general health status, better work ability, and higher satisfaction with life in general. Compared to the German general population, physicians showed significantly higher levels of individual stress and quality of life as well as lower levels for well-being. This has to be judged as an alerting finding regarding the state of physicians' health. Conclusion: In our study, work interfering with family conflict (WIF) as part of Work-Family Conflict (WFC) was highly prevalent among German hospital physicians. Factors of work organisation as well as factors of interpersonal relations at work were identified as significant predictors for WIF. Some of these predictors are accessible to alteration by improving work organisation in hospitals.


Related Articles

  • O STRESSE PROFISSIONAL DOS ENFERMEIROS. Santos, José Manuel; Teixeira, Zélia // Revista da Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde;jan2009, Vol. 6, p368 

    The main goal of the study was to know which everyday work situations are more often perceived as stressful by nurses. The results shows that the death and dying situations are the factors most disturbing, followed by the overwork, the uncertainty about the treatments results, the lack of...

  • Work Family Balance, Stress, and Salivary Cortisol in Men and Women Academic Physicians. Bergman, B.; Ahmad, F.; Stewart, D. E. // International Journal of Behavioral Medicine;Jan-Mar2008, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p54 

    Background: The stress of medical practice has been recurrently studied, but work- and family-related determinants of health by gender remain under researched. Purpose: To test the hypothesis that cortisol excretion would be affected by the perceived severity of total workload imbalance. Method:...

  • Stress in the Workplace. Salmon, Virginia L. // Tennessee Libraries;2008, Vol. 58 Issue 1, p28 

    Common stressors in the workplace can lead to physical illnesses and reduced productivity. Learn how to recognize and reduce stress in your day-to-day life.


    In this study we examined the relationships among job stress, role stress, work-family conflict, and emotional exhaustion among electronics industry employees in China. Empirical data was gained from 466 questionnaires. Factor analysis and regression analysis were employed. It was found that job...

  • REMEMBER WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Henderson, Carol // ATA Magazine;Summer2012, Vol. 92 Issue 4, p47 

    The article offers information regarding the increased workload of teachers. According to the author, hours of-work or instructional-time clauses are the major clauses of the agreement between school administration and teachers at the time of appointment. The author also shares his working life...

  • IMPACT OF OCCUPATIONAL STRESS ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE IN BANKS -AN EMPIRICAL STORY. Samartha, Vihsal; Lokesh; Karkera, Ashwitha // Paradigm (09718907);2010, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p65 

    Occupational stress is a much commented upon phenomenon of the 20th and now the 21st century society. In the present scenario, employees are struggling with the growing, and often conflicting, demands of the workplace and family life. The lack of work-life balance results in a worrying increase...

  • Role of Occupational Stress in organizations. Beheshtifar, Malikeh; Nazarian, Rahele // Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business;Jan2013, Vol. 4 Issue 9, p648 

    Healthcare sector are exposed to considerable occupational stress and have little access to stress management facilities. Occupational stress has become an important topic for study of health sector for several reasons. Occupational stress is not an objective phenomenon. It is predominantly...

  • 6 Co-Worker Conflict Cures.  // Customers First;Jan2013, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p4 

    The article offers tips on how to avoid co-worker-induced stress. It suggests the need to recognize different personalities. It recommends the importance of proper breathing, doing it every 10 or 15 minutes on the job to relax the muscle and avoid stress buildup. It also emphasizes the...

  • 5 Reasons to Consider Actually Sticking With a Low-Paying Job. White, Martha C. // Time.com;1/6/2014, p1 

    The article discusses several reasons individuals should consider maintaining employment in a low-paying job. Topics include the opportunity for advancement by starting in lower-paying positions within companies, positive social interactions with colleagues and customers, and a lower level of...


Other Topics