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Associations between Confidentiality Requirements, Support Seeking and Burnout among University Hospital Physicians in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Italy (the HOUPE study)

Authors

  • Lise Tevik Løvseth,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Research and Development [AFFU], Division of Psychiatry, St Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
    • Correspondence: Lise Tevik Løvseth, Department of Research and Development [AFFU], Division of Psychiatry, St Olavs University Hospital, PO Box 3008 Lade, NO-7041 Trondheim, Norway.

      Email: lise.lovseth@ntnu.no

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  • Ann Fridner,

    1. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Center of Gender Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Lilja Sigrun Jónsdóttir,

    1. The Directorate of Health, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland
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  • Massimo Marini,

    1. Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Science, Clinic of Psychiatry, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
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  • Olav Morten Linaker

    1. Department of Research and Development [AFFU], Division of Psychiatry, St Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
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Abstract

Concerns about protecting patient's privacy are experienced as a limitation in the opportunity to obtain and utilize social support by many physicians. As resources of social support can modify the process of burnout, patient confidentiality may increase risk of this syndrome by interfering with proper stress adaptation. This study investigates if experiencing limitations in seeking social support due to confidentiality concerns are associated with burnout. University hospital physicians in four European countries completed measures of burnout, (Index) of Confidentiality as a Barrier for Support (ICBS), and factors of social resources and job demands. Linear regression analysis showed that ICBS was significantly associated with the burnout dimension of Exhaustion and not with Disengagement. These findings were present when controlling for factors known to diminish or increase the likelihood of burnout. These results are the first to demonstrate that patient confidentiality is associated with burnout in the process of stress management among physicians. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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