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Work-Related Trauma Common Among Ob-Gyns

Related posttraumatic stress disorder carries high personal, professional, and organizational impacts

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to work-related trauma is common among obstetricians and gynecologists, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Pauline Slade, Ph.D., from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues surveyed 1,095 fellows, members, and trainees of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to assess exposure to traumatic work-related events. The authors then conducted 43 in-depth follow-up interviews with trauma-exposed participants.

The researchers found that two-thirds of participants reported exposure to traumatic work-related events, of which 18 percent of both consultants and trainees reported clinically significant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. There was an increased risk for PTSD among staff of black or minority ethnicity. There was an association between clinically significant PTSD symptoms and lower job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization. Organizational impacts of traumatic work-related events included sick leave and “seriously considering leaving the profession.” The culture in obstetrics and gynecology was cited as a barrier to trauma support.

“This study provides even more compelling evidence that urgent action is needed to improve the workplace environment for doctors and ensure they are supported as well as possible,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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