The relationship between interpersonal problems and occupational stress in physicians

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2005 Jul-Aug;27(4):285-91. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2005.03.006.


Objective: This article examined the associations between occupational stress and interpersonal problems in physicians.

Method: A nationwide representative sample of Norwegian physicians received the 64-item version of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP-64) (N=862, response rate=70%) and six instruments measuring occupational stress. Comparison of means, correlation and reliability statistics and multiple regression analyses were applied.

Results: The IIP-64 total score had a significant impact on job satisfaction, perceived unrealistic expectancies, communication with colleagues and nurses and on stress from interaction with patients. Being overly subassertive was related to low job satisfaction. Being overly expressive was linked to the experience of unrealistic expectancies from others and lack of positive feedback, whereas overly competitive physicians tended to have poorer relationships with both colleagues and nurses.

Conclusions: Addressing interpersonal problems in medical school and postgraduate training may be a valuable measure to prevent job stress and promote quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Norway
  • Occupational Diseases*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Specialization
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*