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Fam Pract. 1996 Apr;13(2):170-3.

Anxiety and depression in general practitioners: associations with type of practice, fundholding, gender and other personal characteristics.

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Centre for Primary Health Care, School of Postgraduate Medicine, University of Keele, Stoke Health Centre, Honeywall, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.



There is evidence both that a doctor's own well-being is closely associated with efficiency and positive attitude to patients, and that levels of stress, anxiety and depression in doctors are rising.


This postal survey aimed to measure anxiety and depression levels in general practitioners in 1994 and identify any associations with personal and practice characteristics.


All general practitioners with patients in Staffordshire were invited to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale.


Six hundred and twenty of 896 general practitioners replied (response rate 69%). No gender differences were found in rates of anxiety and depression; overall, 19% of respondents were 'cases' of anxiety and 22% others had borderline anxiety scores; 10% were 'cases' of depression and 16% others had borderline depression scores. Anxiety 'caseness' was associated with living alone, amount of on-call duties undertaken, and being fourth/fifth wave fundholders. Depression 'caseness' was associated with having little free time from practice work, amount of on-call, being single handed, and working in a non-training practice.


The authors concluded that the level of mental ill-health in general practitioners is a matter of concern and is associated with workload.

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