Magnavita N, Fileni A
Radiol Med 2013 Dec;
PURPOSE: Since radiologists and radiotherapists can be occupationally exposed to significant psychosocial risk factors, some may find themselves in a state of distress. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of work-related stress with the presence of symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychological malaise and to evaluate the risk of psychic disorder in radiologists suffering from work-related stress.
METHODS: A total of 654 radiologists responded to our invitation to complete a questionnaire designed to evaluate work-related stress and associated medical conditions: the General Health Questionnaire and Goldberg's Anxiety and Depression scales.
RESULTS: Scores on the anxiety, depression and psychological malaise scales rise with an increase in effort and over-commitment, while control and support exert a protective effect. In radiologists who are aware of an effort/reward imbalance, there is a marked increase in the risk of anxiety [odds ratio (OR) 14.14, 95 % CI 9.15-21.86], depression (OR 7.00, 95 % CI 4.76-10.30) and psychic disorders (OR 3.95, 95 % CI 2.62-9.57). Radiologists who perceive demand as excessive in relation to their power of control also have an increased risk of being anxious (OR 2.98, 95 % CI 2.05-4.31), depressed (OR 1.73, 95 % CI 1.21-2.48) and affected by psychic disorders (OR 2.26, 95 % CI 1.48-3.45) compared to fellow workers who are not in a state of distress.
CONCLUSIONS: Outstanding technical progress has been made in the field of radiology which today plays an invaluable role in public health. Now a major effort must also be made to improve the mental wellbeing of radiologists, both in the interests of the workers themselves, and also in those of their patients and the quality of the treatment they have the right to receive.