ORIGINAL PAPER
Workplace bullying and post-traumatic stress symptoms among family physicians in Lithuania: An occupation and region specific approach
 
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1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Laboratory of Population Studies, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Health, Social and Physical Education, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
3
Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(6):919–932
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: The study investigated associations between workplace bullying and post-traumatic stress symptoms as compared to and controlled for associations between the latter and other psychosocial stress factors at work and in everyday life. The study employed a representative sample of Lithuanian family physicians, hence investigated a particularly resourceful occupational group in a geographical region earlier found to have a high risk context for exposure to bullying at work. Material and Methods: With a response rate of 89.2%, a total of 323 family physicians filled in an anonymous questionnaire on workplace bullying, post-traumatic symptomatology (IES-R), other psychosocial stressors at work and in everyday life, personal health resources (sense of coherence), behavioral characteristics and demographic variables. The statistical software SPSS 14.0, Windows was used in the analysis. Associations were tested using a multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: A high prevalence of bullying was found among family physicians in Lithuania, with 13% of them experiencing severe workplace bullying and 17.3% experiencing more occasional incidents of bullying. The prevalence of post-traumatic stress symptoms was also high with 15.8% scoring above the standardized cut-off thresholds for post-traumatic stress disorder. The odds ratio (OR) of severe bullying for post-traumatic stress after adjustment for age and gender was 8.05 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 3.80–17.04). In the fully adjusted model it increased to 13.88 (95% CI: 4.68–41.13) indicating cumulative effects of all the investigated stressors. Conclusions: Workplace bullying is particularly prevalent among Lithuanian family physicians, as are the symptoms of post-traumatic distress. Strong associations between post-traumatic stress and exposure to severe bullying indicate that bullying is a significant source of mental health.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087