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Fatigue is commonly reported by Australian GPs

conference contribution
posted on 2015-10-01, 00:00 authored by R Jarvis, Gerard GillGerard Gill, L Clearihan, K Price
Aims/ Objectives

Research into fatigue in Australian general practitioners (GPs) is lacking. Few international studies have examined the impact of non-work factors on GP fatigue despite gender differences in work patterns and traditional family roles. This study was designed to identify work patterns, work and non-work factors associated with prolonged fatigue in Australian GPs.

Content
Data was collected using a short online or hardcopy survey using previously validated instruments including measures of fatigue (Fatigue Assessment Scale [FAS]), recovery and job demands, and resources at work and home.
526 GPs (approx 2 % of the Australia GP workforce) provided data and were recruited through professional associations and direct mail. Those participating mirrored the wider Australian GP population.

Implications
Fatigue has implications for workforce planning, doctor and patient safety. Identifying risk factors for fatigue would assist in developing an evidence-based fatigue management strategy for at-risk GPs.

Outcomes
Fatigue as defined by the FAS was found in 45% of Australian GPs but in only 17% of a Dutch working population. Both male and female GPs had multiple risk factors for fatigue including high job demands and only moderate job resources. The major difference between male and female GPs was distribution of workload across the work and home domains, with reduced opportunity for recovery after work for female GPs. Fatigue was not associated with age, gender, rurality or having a family.

Discussion
Is fatigue one of the pathways for the current high levels of GP dissatisfaction? Addressing fatigue may improve GP workforce productivity, patient satisfaction and general practice health outcomes.

History

Publisher

RCGP

Location

Glasgow, Scotland

Place of publication

London, Eng.

Start date

2015-10-01

End date

2015-10-03

Publication classification

E3.1 Extract of paper

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the Royal College of General Practitioners Annual Conference 2015

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