A pilot study of quality of life in German prehospital emergency care physicians

Michael Sand, Schapoor Hessam, Falk G Bechara, Daniel Sand, Christian Vorstius, Michael Bromba, Eggert Stockfleth, Ivy Shiue


Background: Quality of life in patients represents an important area of assessment. However, attention to health professionals should be equally important. The literature on the quality of life (QOL) of emergency physicians is scarce. This pilot study investigated QOL in emergency physicians in Germany. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross?sectional study from January to June in 2015.We approached the German Association of Emergency Medicine Physicians and two of the largest recruitment agencies for emergency physicians in Germany and invited their members to participate. We used the WHO Q?BREF to obtain QOL scores in four domains that included physical, mental, social, and environmental health. Results: The 478 German emergency physicians included in the study held board certifications in general medicine (n = 40; 8.4%), anesthesiology (n = 243; 50.8%), surgery (n = 63; 13.2%), internal medicine (n = 81; 17.0%), or others (n = 51; 10.7%). The women surveyed tended to report a better QOL but worse general health than the men. Regarding specific domains, women scored worse in physical health, particularly energy during everyday work (relative risk ratio [RRR]: 1.98 [1.21–3.24]). Both men and women scored worse in psychological health than general health, particularly young women. Women were also more likely to view their safety (RRR: 1.87 [1.07–3.28]) and living place (RRR: 2.51 [1.10–5.73]) as being poor than their male counterparts. Conclusion: QOL in German prehospital emergency care physicians is satisfactory for the included participants; however, there were some negative effects in the psychological health domain. This is particularly obvious in young female emergency physicians.

Key words: Clinician, emergency care, mental health, quality of life

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