Widespread stress among vets

Feb 25, 2009

Veterinarians frequently suffer psychosocial stress and demoralization associated with heavy workloads. Research published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology analyses the extent of the problem and reveals a complex relationship with binge drinking, tobacco consumption and drug use.

A team of researchers co-ordinated by Melanie Harling, from the Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in Hamburg, Germany, evaluated 1060 practicing vets in north Germany via a carefully-designed, self-administered questionnaire. The researchers found that the likelihood of psychosocial stress increased with the number of working hours and was a consequence of time pressure due to a heavy workload, difficulties in balancing professional life with private life, insufficient free time and dealing with difficult customers. The authors found that many of the vets reported symptoms of demoralization - they were frequently dissatisfied with themselves, rarely optimistic or confident and almost never felt proud.

By close examination of their tobacco, alcohol and medical drug habits, Melanie and her colleagues described a series of complex inter-relationships. According to M. Harling "these results indicate that psychosocial stress at work is associated with a poor psychological state, high-risk alcohol consumption and regular drug use while demoralization is associated with tobacco consumption, problem drinking and regular drug intake. Furthermore psychosocial stress leads to demoralization which in turn leads to an increased consumption of psychotropic substances. One way of coping with psychosocial stress in the veterinary profession might be the consumption of psychotropic substances".

The authors believe that further research will clarify the causes of their findings and help develop strategies to reduce stress in the veterinary profession.

More information: Psychosocial stress, demoralization and the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and medical drugs by veterinarians, Melanie Harling, Petra Strehmel, Anja Schablon and Albert Nienhaus, Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology (in press), www.occup-med.com/

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Reading 'Fifty Shades' linked to unhealthy behaviors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change psychology: Coping and creating solutions

Apr 18, 2011

Psychologists are offering new insight and solutions to help counter climate change, while helping people cope with the environmental, economic and health impacts already taking a toll on people's lives, according to a ...

Strong link between obesity and depression

Oct 07, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Doctors should pay more attention to the link between common mental illness and obesity in patients because the two health problems are closely linked, according to researchers at the University of Adelaide.

Recommended for you

Reading 'Fifty Shades' linked to unhealthy behaviors

28 minutes ago

Young adult women who read "Fifty Shades of Grey" are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner, finds a new study led by a Michigan State University ...

Emergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us

3 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Emergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us - they are more extroverted, agreeable and open - attributes that make them successful in the demanding, fast-paced and often stressful environment ...

Many patients don't understand electronic lab results

3 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—While it's becoming commonplace for patients to see the results of lab work electronically, a new University of Michigan study suggests that many people may not be able to understand what ...

Healthier foods available in neighborhoods

4 hours ago

Changes to the federal food assistance program for low-income women and their children improved the availability of healthy foods at small and medium-size stores in New Orleans, according to research from ...

User comments : 0