A survey of job satisfaction, sources of stress and psychological symptoms among New Zealand health professionals

N Z Med J. 2001 Dec 14;114(1145):540-3.


Aim: To assess job satisfaction, job-related stress and psychological morbidity among New Zealand physicians, surgeons and community pharmacists and provide a comparison with New Zealand general practitioners (GPs).

Methods: 411 physicians, 330 surgeons and 400 randomly sampled community pharmacists, were surveyed. Psychological morbidity was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and job satisfaction by the Warr Cook Wall scale.

Results: Response rates were 70.5% for physicians, 69% for surgeons and 76% for community pharmacists. Job satisfaction scores for surgeons were similar to scores for GPs. Pharmacist and physicians scores were lower. Job satisfaction varied according to gender, the relative amount of time spent in public practice and the perceived ill effects of work on health. Pharmacists had the highest number of cases with significant scores on the GHQ-12 scale, with physicians and surgeons scoring similar to GPs. In each of these health professional groups approximately 10% described a level of symptoms that is associated with more severe psychological disturbance.

Conclusions: All three groups were generally satisfied with their jobs. Pharmacists were significantly less so. Physicians and surgeons reported similar levels of psychological morbidity to GPs, which have been previously reported as a cause for concern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Specialization
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires