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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2002 Sep;11(3):188-92.

Improving the working lives of cancer clinicians.

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1
Cancer Research UK, London Psychosocial Group, Adamson Centre for Mental Health, St Thomas' Hospital, UK. jill.graham@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Cancer clinicians have to deal with particular difficulties in their work, including emotionally demanding interactions with patients and a high proportion of patients in whom curative treatment is ineffective. Perhaps, surprisingly, cancer clinicians are at no greater risk of poor mental health than other specialists, although levels among senior doctors are higher than among the employed general population. Being young, being single, feeling inadequately trained in communication and management skills and experiencing high levels of stress at work increase the risk of poor mental health for cancer clinicians and other senior doctors alike. Job satisfaction is important in that it appears to protect the mental health of cancer clinicians. Further work is required using a longitudinal approach to clarify risk factors. There is also a need to examine factors such as stress outside work that are likely to confer risk. We also need to understand how symptoms of poor mental health impair work performance. Having identified the risk factors, we need to begin to formulate interventions to improve the working lives of cancer clinicians through, for example, initiatives to improve communication and management skills, provide support to new consultants and facilitate teamwork.

PMID:
12296836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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