Why hospital physicians attend work while ill The spiralling effect of positive and negative factorsReport as inadecuate

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BMC Health Services Research

, 16:548

Quality, performance, safety and outcomes


BackgroundRecurrent reports from national and international studies show a persistent high prevalence of sickness presence among hospital physicians. Despite the negative consequences reported, we do not know a lot about the reasons why physicians choose to work when ill, and whether there may be some positive correlates of this behaviour that in turn may lead to the design of appropriate interventions. The aim of this study is to explore the perception and experience with sickness presenteeism among hospital physicians, and to explore possible positive and negative foundations and consequences associated with sickness presence.

MethodsSemi-structured interviews of 21 Norwegian university hospital physicians.

ResultsPositive and negative dimensions associated with 1 evaluation of illness, 2 organizational structure, 3 organizational culture, and 4 individual factors simultaneously contributed to presenteeism.

ConclusionsThe study underlines the inherent complexity of the causal chain of events affecting sickness presenteeism, something that also inhibits intervention. It appears that sufficient staffing, predictability in employment, adequate communication of formal policies and senior physicians adopting the position of a positive role model are particularly important.

KeywordsSickness presence Physicians Health Stress University hospital Positive and negative causes and consequences Intervention Qualitative study Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12913-016-1802-y contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Fay Giæver - Signe Lohmann-Lafrenz - Lise Tevik Løvseth

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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