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Occup Med (Lond). 2014 Sep;64(6):410-6. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqu081. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Workaholism: are physicians at risk?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Saint Nazaire Hospital, Saint Nazaire, France.
2
Department of Public Health, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France, EA 4275-SPHERE 'Biostatistics, Pharmacoepidemiology and Subjective Measures in Health Sciences', Nantes University, Nantes, France.
3
Department of Addiction and Psychiatry, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France.
4
Department of Public Health, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France, Department of Addiction and Psychiatry, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France.
5
Department of Public Health, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France, EA 4275-SPHERE 'Biostatistics, Pharmacoepidemiology and Subjective Measures in Health Sciences', Nantes University, Nantes, France, marie.bronnec@chu-nantes.fr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Work addiction (WA), often called 'workaholism', is a relatively recent concept that has not yet been clearly defined. Ongoing studies have found prevalence rates that are highly variable due to the diversity of the models used and the populations studied.

AIMS:

To assess the characteristics of WA among hospital medical staff.

METHODS:

All physicians practising at a French university hospital were invited to participate in a survey based on two questionnaires: the Work Addiction Risk Test (WART) for WA and the Job Contents Questionnaire (JCQ) to assess psychosocial constraints at work.

RESULTS:

There were 444 responding physicians. The response rate was 45%. Thirteen per cent of respondents were considered to be highly work addicted and a further 35% were considered mildly work addicted. Professors had the highest average WART score, but neither age nor sex was associated with WA. Furthermore, all 3D scores obtained using the JCQ correlated with the WART score; the highest correlation coefficient being obtained between the WART score and the job demands score, indicating that workaholics experienced high job demands.

CONCLUSIONS:

WA especially affects professors, who have the highest status amongst doctors in the hospital hierarchy. This study highlights the importance of constraints and workload, which are consistent with individual vulnerability factors. These factors may help identify ways of preventing and managing this type of addiction, through improvement of working conditions and organizational structures.

KEYWORDS:

Physicians; prevalence; psychosocial constraints; workaholism.

PMID:
25022279
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqu081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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