24.04.2018 | Original Article
Associations of psychosocial working conditions with health outcomes, quality of care and intentions to leave the profession: results from a cross-sectional study among physician assistants in Germany
Erschienen in: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health | Ausgabe 5/2018Einloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
Numerous epidemiological studies among health care staff have documented associations of adverse psychosocial working conditions with poorer health-related outcomes, a reduced quality of patient care and intentions to leave the profession. The evidence for physician assistants in Germany remains limited though.
We surveyed a total of 994 physician assistants between September 2016 and April 2017. Psychosocial working conditions were measured by the established effort–reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire and by a questionnaire specifically developed to capture psychosocial working conditions among physicians. Health outcomes (i.e., self-rated health, depression, anxiety), self-rated quality of care and the intention to leave the profession were assessed by established measures. We ran multivariable logistic regression analyses.
The prevalence of work stress in terms of ERI equalled 73.77%. Work stress according to the ERI model was associated with significantly poorer self-rated health [odds ratio (OR) 3.62], elevated symptoms of depression (OR 8.83) and anxiety (OR 4.95), poorer quality of care (OR for medical errors 4.04; OR for interference of work with patient care 3.88) and an increased intention to leave one’s current profession (OR 3.74). The PA-specific questionnaire showed similar, albeit weaker, associations (all ORs > 1.22).
Our results are in line with previous findings among health care staff and provide specific and novel evidence for physician assistants. Interventions aiming at the improvement of working conditions seem needed given their potential adverse consequences in terms of employee health, quality of care, and personnel policy.