Work-related stress among health professionals in northern Jordan

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BackgroundJob stress is common in health care professionals in the west. Less is known about its prevalence in Middle Eastern countries.AimsTo determine job stress, its sources and its effect on health care professionals in northern Jordan.MethodsA simple random sample of 101 physician specialists, 126 dentists, 52 general practitioners and 123 pharmacists in northern Jordan completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire, and addressed structured questions about job stress. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were used to describe and compare participants, and a binary logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with stress and reported health problems.ResultsOf the 402 health care professionals, 27% reported high levels of stress. Prevalence was highest among general practitioners (33%), then dentists (30%) and pharmacists (25%). The lowest stress was among physician specialists (12%). Factors associated with the highest stress were being a general practitioner, being a woman and having long working hours. Dealing with uncooperative patients and heavy workloads were additional stressors. The most frequent problems associated with high stress were irritability (58%), consuming more arousal drinks (e.g. coffee, cola) (56%), difficulty concentrating (51%), headaches (63%), chronic back pain (48%) and common colds (47%).ConclusionsCompared to physician specialists, general practitioners, dentists and pharmacists were significantly more stressed. Reported stress was associated with job title, being a woman and long working hours. Also uncooperative patients and heavy workloads were significant problems. Being irritable and having headaches and common colds were the most frequent health issues.

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