Article (Scientific journals)
Distribution of Psychological Instability Among Surgeons.
Kalywis, Anna L; Samuel, Robin; Scholtes, Félix et al.
2023In World Neurosurgery
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Keywords :
Medical error; Medicine; Neuroticism; Physicians' wellbeing; Second victim; Surgery; Neurology (clinical)
Abstract :
[en] [en] BACKGROUND: High emotional instability (i.e., neuroticism) is associated with poor mental health. Conversely, traumatic experiences may increase neuroticism. Stressful experiences such as complications are common in the surgical profession, with neurosurgeons being particularly affected. We compared the personality trait neuroticism between physicians in a prospective cross-sectional study. METHODS: We used an online survey using the Ten-Item Personality Inventory, an internationally validated measure of the 5-factor model of personality dimensions. It was distributed to board-certified physicians, residents, and medical students in several European countries and Canada (n = 5148). Multivariate linear regression was used to model differences between surgeons, nonsurgeons, and specialties with occasional surgical interventions with respect to neuroticism, adjusting for sex, age, age squared, and their interactions, then testing equality of parameters of adjusted predictions separately and jointly using Wald tests. RESULTS: With an expected variability within disciplines, average levels of neuroticism are lower in surgeons than nonsurgeons, especially in the first part of their career. However, the course of neuroticism across age follows a quadratic pattern, that is, an increase after the initial decrease. The acceleration of neuroticism with age is specifically significant in surgeons. Levels of neuroticism are lowest towards mid-career, but exhibit a strong secondary increase towards the end of the surgeon's career. This pattern seems driven by neurosurgeons. CONCLUSIONS: Despite initially lower levels of neuroticism, surgeons suffer a stronger increase of neuroticism together with age. Because, beyond well-being, neuroticism influences professional performance and health care systems costs, explanatory studies are mandatory to enlighten causes of this burden.
Disciplines :
Surgery
Author, co-author :
Kalywis, Anna L ;  Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, Department of Consultation-Liaison-Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Samuel, Robin ;  Department of Social Sciences, University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Scholtes, Félix  ;  Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > > Service de neurochirurgie
Reuter, Gilles  ;  Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > > Service de neurochirurgie
Stienen, Martin N ;  Department of Neurosurgery, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Seifritz, Erich;  Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Surbeck, Werner;  Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address: surbeck.werner@gmail.com
Language :
English
Title :
Distribution of Psychological Instability Among Surgeons.
Publication date :
05 April 2023
Journal title :
World Neurosurgery
ISSN :
1878-8750
eISSN :
1878-8769
Publisher :
Elsevier Inc., United States
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funding text :
The authors thank the journals Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Germany, Schweizer Ärztezeitung, Switzerland, and Le Quotidien du Médecin, France, to help distribute the survey among their readership. We thank all participating specialists, residents, and medical students for their time and trust.
Available on ORBi :
since 21 May 2023

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