Objectives The study investigated the associations between mental health and job demands, control and social support at work and controlled for physical inactivity, sense of coherence and psychosocial factors in everyday life in a representative sample of Lithuanian family physicians.
Method With a response rate 89.2%, a total of 323 family physicians filled in anonymous questionnaire on mental distress (GHQ-12) and psychosocial stressors at work and in everyday life, personal health resources (sense of coherence) and demographic variables. The statistical software SPSS 14.0 for Windows was used in the analysis. Associations were tested by way of multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results The prevalence of mental distress was 40.2% among family physicians and was positively associated with high job demands (p < 0.001), low job control (p = 0.009) and low social support at work (p = 0.009). In a fully adjusted model controlling for age, gender, physical inactivity, sense of coherence, self-rated health, social relations and work-family interface, the adjusted OR for high job demands remained statistically significant with the OR=2.40; 1.40–4.12, but for low job control it was 1.27; 95% CI 0.74–2.19, and for low social support at work - insignificant.
Conclusions Nearly half of the family physicians were mentally distressed. Psychosocial job characteristics, especially high job demands play an important role in poor mental health, as well as social relations, self-rated health and low sense of coherence. Health promotion strategies should be applied for this important occupation to diminish mental distress.
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