Date: 11 Mar 2008

Factors on working conditions and prolonged fatigue among physicians in Japan

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Abstract

Objective

Fatigue among physicians could affect patients’ safety and physicians’ health. Fatigue could be caused by unfavorable working conditions. However, there have been no studies on the working conditions and fatigue among physicians in Japan. The objective of this study was to determine the factors on working conditions associated with prolonged fatigue among physicians in Japan.

Methods

A questionnaire was mailed to physicians who graduated from one of the medical schools in Japan and who have had more than 3 years of experience in clinical practice. They were asked to assess 10 different aspects of their working conditions using a 5-point Likert scale. Prolonged fatigue was measured using the checklist of individual strength questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the multivariate relationship between the variables and prolonged fatigue. Data from 377 men and 101 women were analyzed in this study.

Results

For both male and female physicians, a harder workload was positively associated and better career satisfaction was negatively associated with prolonged fatigue. Prolonged fatigue was negatively associated with better relationships with other physicians and staff for male physicians and less personal time for female physicians. The adjusted variance in prolonged fatigue related to exposure variables was 26 and 29% in men and in women, respectively.

Conclusions

The result of this study suggested that it is desirable to take these factors into consideration in the management of prolonged fatigue among physicians in Japan.

Koji Wada has no commercial interest related to this article.