Professional satisfaction experienced when caring for substance-abusing patients
- Cite this article as:
- Saitz, R., Friedmann, P.D., Sullivan, L.M. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2002) 17: 373. doi:10.1007/s11606-002-0043-4
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This survey aimed to describe and compare resident and faculty physician satisfaction, attitudes, and practices regarding patients with addictions. Of 144 primary care physicians, 40% used formal screening tools; 24% asked patients’ family history. Physicians were less likely (P<.05) to experience at least a moderate amount of professional satisfaction caring for patients with alcohol (32% of residents, 49% of faculty) or drug (residents 30%, faculty 31%) problems than when managing hypertension (residents 76%, faculty 79%). Interpersonal experience with addictions was common (85% of faculty, 72% of residents) but not associated with attitudes, practices, or satisfaction. Positive attitudes toward addiction treatment (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.60; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.59 to 13.29), confidence in assessment and intervention (AOR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.09 to 5.69), and perceived responsibility for addressing substance problems (AOR, 5.59; CI, 2.07 to 15.12) were associated with greater satisfaction. Professional satisfaction caring for patients with substance problems is lower than that for other illnesses. Addressing physician satisfaction may improve care for patients with addictions.