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Work‐related post‐traumatic stress symptoms in obstetricians and gynaecologists: findings from INDIGO a mixed methods study with a cross‐sectional survey and in‐depth interviews

Slade, P, Balling, K, Sheen, K, Goodfellow, L, Rymer, J, Spiby, H and Weeks, A (2020) Work‐related post‐traumatic stress symptoms in obstetricians and gynaecologists: findings from INDIGO a mixed methods study with a cross‐sectional survey and in‐depth interviews. BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. ISSN 1470-0328

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Abstract

Objectives: To explore obstetricians’ and gynaecologists’ experiences of work‐related traumatic events, to measure the prevalence and predictors of post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), any impacts on personal and professional lives, and any support needs.
Design: Mixed methods: cross‐sectional survey and in‐depth interviews.
Sample and setting: Fellows, members and trainees of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
Methods: A survey was sent to 6300 fellows, members and trainees of RCOG. 1095 people responded. Then 43 in‐depth interviews with trauma‐exposed participants were completed and analysed by template analysis.
Main outcome measures: Exposure to traumatic work‐related events and PTSD, personal and professional impacts, and whether there was any need for support. Interviews explored the impact of trauma, what helped or hindered psychological recovery, and any assistance wanted.
Results: Two‐thirds reported exposure to traumatic work‐related events. Of these, 18% of both consultants and trainees reported clinically significant PTSD symptoms. Staff of black or minority ethnicity were at increased risk of PTSD. Clinically significant PTSD symptoms were associated with lower job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Organisational impacts included sick leave, and ‘seriously considering leaving the profession’. 91% wanted a system of care. The culture in obstetrics and gynaecology was identified as a barrier to trauma support. A strategy to manage the impact of work‐place trauma is proposed.
Conclusions: Exposure to work‐related trauma is a feature of the experience of obstetricians and gynaecologists. Some will suffer PTSD with high personal, professional and organisational impacts. A system of care is needed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 09:53
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2020 10:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/1471-0528.16076
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12128

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