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author:("gud, Tore")
1.  A few more minutes make a difference? The relationship between content and length of GP consultations 
Abstract
Objectives. To investigate the relationship between the length of a medical consultation in a general practice setting and the biopsychosocial information obtained by the physician, and to explore the characteristics of young physicians obtaining comprehensive, especially psychosocial information. Design. A prospective, longitudinal follow-up study. Setting. Videotaped consultations with standardized patients on two occasions were scored for the amount of biopsychosocial information obtained. Consultation length was recorded in minutes. Subjects. Final-year (T-1) medical school students (n = 111) participated in the project. On completion of their internship one and a half years later (T-2), 62 attended a second time, as young physicians. Main outcome measures. Content lists. Results. Pearson's r correlations between content and length at T-1 and T-2 were 0.27 and 0.66, respectively (non-overlapping confidence intervals). Psychosocial content increased significantly when consultations exceeded 13 minutes (15 minutes scheduled). Physicians using more than 13 minutes had previously, as hospital interns, perceived more stress in the emergency room and had worked in local hospitals. Conclusions. A strong association was found between consultation length and information, especially psychosocial information, obtained by the physicians at internship completion. This finding should be considered by faculty members and organizers of the internship period. Further research is needed to detect when, during the educational process, increased emphasis on communication skills training would be most beneficial for students/residents, and how the medical curriculum and internship period should be designed to optimize young physicians’ use of time in consultations.
doi:10.3109/02813432.2012.751698
PMCID: PMC3587298  PMID: 23282010
Consultation content; consultation length; general practice; medical students; Norway; physicians; psychosocial
2.  The impact of change in a doctor's job position: a five-year cohort study of job satisfaction among Norwegian doctors 
Background
Job satisfaction among physicians may be of importance to their individual careers and their work with patients. We lack prospective studies on whether a change in a doctor's job position influences their job satisfaction over a five-year period if we control for other workload factors.
Methods
A longitudinal national cohort of all physicians who graduated in Norway in 1993 and 1994 was surveyed by postal questionnaire in 2003 (T1) and 2008 (T2). Outcomes were measured with a 10-item job satisfaction scale. Predictor variables in a multiple regression model were: change in job position, reduction in work-home interface stress, reduction in work hours, age, and gender.
Results
A total of 59% of subjects (306/522) responded at both time points. The mean value of job satisfaction in the total sample increased from 51.6 (SD = 9.0) at T1 to 53.4 (SD = 8.2) at T2 (paired t test, t = 3.8, p < 0.001). The major groups or positions at T1 were senior house officers (45%), chief specialists in hospitals (23%), and general practitioners (17%), and the latter showed the highest levels of job satisfaction. Physicians who changed position during the period (n = 176) experienced an increase in job satisfaction from 49.5 (SD = 8.4) in 2003 to 52.9 (SD = 7.5) in 2008 (paired t test, t = 5.2, p < 0.001). Job satisfaction remained unchanged for physicians who stayed in the same position. There was also an increase in satisfaction among those who changed from positions other than senior house officer at T1 (p < 0.01). The significant adjusted predictor variables in the multiple regression model were the change in position from senior house officer at T1 to any other position (β = 2.83, p < 0.001), any change in job position (from any position except SHO at T1) (β = 4.18, p < 0.01) and reduction in work-home interface stress (β = 1.04, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
The physicians experienced an increase in job satisfaction over a five-year period, which was predicted by a change in job position and a reduction in work-home stress. This study has implications with respect to career advice for young doctors.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-41
PMCID: PMC3342917  PMID: 22340521
3.  A three-year cohort study of the relationships between coping, job stress and burnout after a counselling intervention for help-seeking physicians 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:213.
Background
Knowledge about important factors in reduction of burnout is needed, but there is a dearth of burnout intervention program studies and their effects among physicians. The present three-year follow-up study aimed to investigate the roles of coping strategies, job stress and personality traits in burnout reduction after a counselling intervention for distressed physicians.
Methods
227 physicians who attended a counselling intervention for burnout at the Resource Centre Villa Sana, Norway in 2003-2005, were followed with self-report assessments at baseline, one-year, and three-year follow-up. Main outcome measures were emotional exhaustion (one dimension of burnout), job stress, coping strategies and neuroticism. Changes in these measures were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA. Temporal relationships between changes were examined using structural modelling with cross-lagged and synchronous panel models.
Results
184 physicians (81%, 83 men, 101 women) completed the three-year follow-up assessment. Significantly reduced levels of emotional exhaustion, job stress, and emotion-focused coping strategies from baseline to one year after the intervention, were maintained at three-year follow-up.
Panel modelling indicated that changes in emotion-focused coping (z = 4.05, p < 0.001) and job stress (z = 3.16, p < 0.01) preceded changes in emotional exhaustion from baseline to three-year follow-up. A similar pattern was found from baseline to one-year follow-up.
Conclusion
A sequential relationship indicated that reduction in emotion-focused coping and in job stress preceded reduction in emotional exhaustion. As a consequence, coping strategies and job stress could be important foci in intervention programs that aim to reduce or prevent burnout in help-seeking physicians.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-213
PMCID: PMC2880293  PMID: 20423480
4.  Counselling for burnout in Norwegian doctors: one year cohort study  
Objective To investigate levels and predictors of change in dimensions of burnout after an intervention for stressed doctors.
Design Cohort study followed by self reported assessment at one year.
Setting Norwegian resource centre.
Participants 227 doctors participating in counselling intervention, 2003-5.
Interventions Counselling (lasting one day (individual) or one week (group based)) aimed at motivating reflection on and acknowledgement of the doctors’ situation and personal needs.
Main outcome measures Levels of burnout (Maslach burnout inventory) and predictors of reduction in emotional exhaustion investigated by linear regression.
Results 185 doctors (81%, 88 men, 97 women) completed one year follow-up. The mean level of emotional exhaustion (scale 1-5) was significantly reduced from 3.00 (SD 0.94) to 2.53 (SD 0.76) (t=6.76, P<0.001), similar to the level found in a representative sample of 390 Norwegian doctors. Participants had reduced their working hours by 1.6 hours/week (SD 11.4). There was a considerable reduction in the proportion of doctors on full time sick leave, from 35% (63/182) at baseline to 6% (10/182) at follow-up and a parallel increase in the proportion who had undergone psychotherapy, from 20% (36/182) to 53% (97/182). In the whole cohort, reduction in emotional exhaustion was independently associated with reduced number of work hours/week (β=0.17, P=0.03), adjusted for sex, age, and personality dimensions. Among men “satisfaction with the intervention” (β=0.25, P=0.04) independently predicted reduction in emotional exhaustion.
Conclusions A short term counselling intervention could contribute to reduction in emotional exhaustion in doctors. This was associated with reduced working hours for the whole cohort and, in men, was predicted by satisfaction with the intervention.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a2004
PMCID: PMC2659953  PMID: 19001492
5.  Observed communication skills: how do they relate to the consultation content? A nation-wide study of graduate medical students seeing a standardized patient for a first-time consultation in a general practice setting 
Background
In this study, we wanted to investigate the relationship between background variables, communication skills, and the bio-psychosocial content of a medical consultation in a general practice setting with a standardized patient.
Methods
Final-year medical school students (N = 111) carried out a consultation with an actor playing the role of a patient with a specific somatic complaint, psychosocial stressors, and concerns about cancer. Based on videotapes, communication skills and consultation content were scored separately.
Results
The mean level of overall communication skills had a significant impact upon the counts of psychosocial issues, the patient's concerns about cancer, and the information and planning parts of the consultation content being addressed. Gender and age had no influence upon the relationship between communication skills and consultation content.
Conclusion
Communication skills seem to be important for final-year students' competence in addressing sensitive psychosocial issues and patients' concerns as well as informing and planning with patients being representative for a fairly complex case in general practice. This result should be considered in the design and incorporation of communication skills training as part of the curriculum of medical schools.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-43
PMCID: PMC2213643  PMID: 17996053
6.  Curriculum factors influencing knowledge of communication skills among medical students 
Background
Communication training builds on the assumption that understanding of the concepts related to professional communication facilitates the training. We know little about whether students' knowledge of clinical communication skills is affected by their attendance of communication training courses, or to what degree other elements of the clinical training or curriculum design also play a role. The aim of this study was to determine which elements of the curriculum influence acquisition of knowledge regarding clinical communication skills by medical students.
Methods
The study design was a cross-sectional survey performed in the four Norwegian medical schools with different curricula, spring 2003. A self-administered questionnaire regarding knowledge of communication skills (an abridged version of van Dalen's paper-and-pencil test) was sent to all students attending the four medical schools. A total of 1801 (59%) students responded with complete questionnaires.
Results
At the end of the 1st year of study, the score on the knowledge test was higher in students at the two schools running communication courses and providing early patient contact (mean 81%) than in the other two medical schools (mean 69–75%, P ≤ 0.001), with students studying a traditional curriculum scoring the lowest. Their scores increased sharply towards the end of the 3rd year, during which they had been subjected to extensive patient contact and had participated in an intensive communication course (77% vs. 72% the previous year, P ≤ 0.01). All students scored generally lower in academic years in which there was no communication training. However, at the end of the final year the difference between the schools was only 5% (81% vs. 86%, P ≤ 0.001).
Conclusion
The acquisition of knowledge regarding communication skills by medical students may be optimised when the training is given together with extensive supervised patient contact, especially if this teaching takes place in the initial years of the curriculum.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-35
PMCID: PMC2089059  PMID: 17925041
7.  Assessing medical students' attitudes towards learning communication skills – which components of attitudes do we measure? 
Background
The Communication Skills Attitudes Scale (CSAS) created by Rees, Sheard and Davies and published in 2002 has been a widely used instrument for measuring medical students' attitudes towards learning communication skills. Earlier studies have shown that the CSAS mainly tests two dimensions of attitudes towards communication; positive attitudes (PAS) and negative attitudes (NAS). The objectives of our study are to explore the attitudes of Norwegian medical students towards learning communication skills, and to compare our findings with reports from other countries.
Methods
The CSAS questionnaire was mailed simultaneously to all students (n = 3055) of the four medical schools in Norway in the spring of 2003. Response from 1833 students (60.0%) were analysed by use of SPSS ver.12.
Results
A Principal component analysis yielded findings that differ in many respects from those of earlier papers. We found the CSAS to measure three factors. The first factor describes students' feelings about the way communication skills are taught, whereas the second factor describes more fundamental attitudes and values connected to the importance of having communication skills for doctors. The third factor explores whether students feel that good communication skills may help them respecting patients and colleagues.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate that in this sample the CSAS measures broader aspects of attitudes towards learning communication skills than the formerly described two-factor model with PAS and NAS. This may turn out to be helpful for monitoring the effect of different teaching strategies on students' attitudes during medical school.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-4
PMCID: PMC1851955  PMID: 17394673
8.  Does a self-referral counselling program reach doctors in need of help? A comparison with the general Norwegian doctor workforce 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:36.
Background
Doctors have a relatively high degree of emotional distress, but seek help to a lesser degree and at a later stage than other academic groups. This can be deleterious for themselves and for their patients. Prevention programs have therefore been developed but it is unclear to what extent they reach doctors in need of help. This study describes doctors who participated in a self-referrral, easily accessible, stress relieving, counselling program in Norway, and compares them with a nationwide sample of Norwegian doctors.
Methods
Two hundred and twenty seven (94%) of the doctors, 117 women and 110 men, who came to the resort centre Villa Sana, Modum, Norway, between August 2003 and July 2005, agreed to participate in the study. Socio-demographic data, reasons for and ways of help-seeking, sick-leave, symptoms of depression and anxiety, job stress and burnout were assessed by self-reporting questionnaires.
Results
Forty-nine percent of the Sana doctors were emotionally exhausted (Maslach) compared with 25% of all Norwegian doctors. However, they did not differ on empathy and working capacity, the other two dimensions in Maslach's burnout inventory. Seventy-three percent of the Sana doctors could be in need of treatment for depression or anxiety based on their symptom distress scores, compared with 14% of men and 18% of women doctors in Norway. Twenty-one percent of the Sana doctors had a history of suicidal thoughts, including how to commit the act, as compared to 10% of Norwegian doctors in general.
Conclusion
Sana doctors displayed a higher degree of emotional exhaustion, symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as job related stress, compared with all Norwegian doctors. This may indicate that the program at Villa Sana to a large extent reaches doctors in need of help. The counselling intervention can help doctors to evaluate their professional and private situation, and, when necessary, enhance motivation for seeking adequate treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-36
PMCID: PMC1847681  PMID: 17367526
9.  Life satisfaction and resilience in medical school – a six-year longitudinal, nationwide and comparative study 
Background
This study examined the relationship between life satisfaction among medical students and a basic model of personality, stress and coping. Previous studies have shown relatively high levels of distress, such as symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts in medical undergraduates. However despite the increased focus on positive psychological health and well-being during the past decades, only a few studies have focused on life satisfaction and coping in medical students. This is the first longitudinal study which has identified predictors of sustained high levels of life satisfaction among medical students.
Methods
This longitudinal, nationwide questionnaire study examined the course of life satisfaction during medical school, compared the level of satisfaction of medical students with that of other university students, and identified resilience factors. T-tests were used to compare means of life satisfaction between and within the population groups. K-means cluster analyses were applied to identify subgroups among the medical students. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and logistic regression analyses were used to compare the subgroups.
Results
Life satisfaction decreased during medical school. Medical students were as satisfied as other students in the first year of study, but reported less satisfaction in their graduation year. Medical students who sustained high levels of life satisfaction perceived medical school as interfering less with their social and personal life, and were less likely to use emotion focused coping, such as wishful thinking, than their peers.
Conclusion
Medical schools should encourage students to spend adequate time on their social and personal lives and emphasise the importance of health-promoting coping strategies.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-48
PMCID: PMC1592096  PMID: 16984638
10.  Which young physicians are satisfied with their work? A prospective nationwide study in Norway 
Background
Few studies have investigated personality and medical school variables in regard to job satisfaction after graduation. It is of great importance to investigate these factors because this information may be used in the recruitment/admittance process to medical schools, and possibly to improve medical education.
Methods
We conducted a nationwide prospective 10-year follow-up study of medical students at all medical schools in Norway. They were approached three times during their medical training: at very beginning (T1), in the middle (T2), in the last year of medical school (T3), and then four years after graduation (T4). There were 210 participants who responded on all four occasions. Job satisfaction was measured with the Job Satisfaction Scale, which was used as the outcome variable. In addition to conducting multiple regression analysis for the total sample, we also conducted similar analyses separately for men and women.
Results
Among the demographic and personality variables, 'having a father who is a physician' and 'interpersonal functioning (being withdrawn)' were significantly associated with job satisfaction at T4. Among the medical school variables, 'well-being with peers', 'identification with the doctor's role at the end of curriculum', 'perceived medical school stress', and 'perceived clinical skills' were significantly associated with job satisfaction. In the multiple regression analysis only 'father as a physician' and 'perceived clinical skills' yielded an independent influence on the outcome variable in separate analyses within sub-groups of male and female students, 'perceived clinical skills' differentiated among woman only, while 'well-being with peers' differentiated only among men.
Conclusion
The main finding of this study is that the young physicians who are the most satisfied in their work are those whose fathers are physicians and those who have a high level of perceived clinical skills at the end of medical school. There are also differences in regard to predictors of job satisfaction among men and women. These findings indicate that medical schools should invest substantial effort in clinical skills training, and this seems to be especially important among female students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-5-19
PMCID: PMC1164416  PMID: 15932648

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