Work-related behavior and experience patterns and predictors of mental health in German physicians in medical practice

Voltmer, Edgar; Schwappach, David; Frank, Erica; Wirsching, Michael; Spahn, Claudia (2010). Work-related behavior and experience patterns and predictors of mental health in German physicians in medical practice. Family medicine, 42(6), pp. 433-439. Kansas City, Mo.: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

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Background and Objectives: Work-related stress and burnout among physicians are of increasing relevance. The aim of this study was to investigate work-related behavior and experience patterns and predictors of mental health of physicians working in medical practice in Germany.

Methods: We surveyed a stratified, random sample of 900 physicians from different specialties. The questionnaire included the standardized instruments Work-related Behavior and Experience Pattern (AVEM) and the Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12).

Results: Only one third of physicians reported high or very high general satisfaction with their job, but 64% would choose to study medicine again. Only 18% of physicians presented a healthy behavior and experience pattern. Almost 40% presented a pattern of reduced motivation to work, 21% were at risk of overexertion, and 22% at risk for burnout. Willingness to study medicine again, fulfilled job expectations, professional years, marital status, and behavior patterns were significant predictors of mental health and accounted for 35.6% of the variance in mental health scores. Job-related perceptions also had a significant effect on burnout.

Conclusions: The strong influence of work-related perceptions suggests a need for realistic expectation management in medical education, as well as support in stress management and coping strategies during medical training.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwappach, David


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Society of Teachers of Family Medicine




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:11

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 18:59

PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 204283)

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