Journal of Community Health

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 75–88

Stress perceptions in community clinic: a pilot survey of patients and physicians

  • G. Ken. Goodrick
  • Suzanne Kneuper
  • Jeffrey R. Steinbauer
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10900-004-1091-y

Cite this article as:
Goodrick, G.K., Kneuper, S. & Steinbauer, J.R. J Community Health (2005) 30: 75. doi:10.1007/s10900-004-1091-y

Abstract

This pilot survey of 103 patients and 17 physicians in an urban family medicine clinic gathered information pertinent to the design of a feasible stress intervention for patients bothered by stress, but who did not have a psychiatric diagnosis. Among patients, 45% reported being excessively bothered by stress in the preceding month, with the chief stressors being job (70 reporting), financial worries (58%) and family concerns (50%). Patients reported a variety of problems perceived to be related to stress, such as headaches, insomnia, eating control, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Although about 80% reported using positive coping methods (e.g., talking, exercising, and relaxing), 42% reported using alcohol, and 10% used non-prescribed drugs to cope with stress. Only 37% of patients had sought help for stress from their physician. The wide variety of responses from the physicians reflected a lack of standardized approaches, inadequate training, and a reluctance to engage patients about their stress problems. About 42% of the physicians reported routinely asking patients about stress, and 77% felt that dealing with patient stress was a significant burden on their practice of medicine. Overall, the findings indicate that opportunities are being missed for helping patients to deal with stress constructively, and that a standardized stress self-management program might be one solution.

Keywords

primary care stress mental health community 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Ken. Goodrick
    • 1
  • Suzanne Kneuper
    • 1
  • Jeffrey R. Steinbauer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Community MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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