On-call stress among Finnish anaesthetists

Anaesthesia. 2006 Sep;61(9):856-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2006.04749.x.


We investigated on-call stress and its consequences among anaesthetists. A questionnaire was sent to all working Finnish anaesthetists (n = 550), with a response rate of 60%. Four categories of on-call workload and a sum variable of stress symptoms were formed. The anaesthetists had the greatest on-call workload among Finnish physicians. In our sample, 68% felt stressed during the study. The most important causes of stress were work and combining work with family. The study showed a positive correlation between stress symptoms and on-call workload (p = 0.009). Moderate burnout was present in 18%vs 45% (p = 0.008) and exhaustion in 32% and 68% (p = 0.015), in the lowest vs highest workload category, respectively. The symptoms were significantly associated with stress, gender, perceived sleep deprivation, suicidal tendencies and sick leave. Being frequently on call correlates with severe stress symptoms and these symptoms are associated with sick leave.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesiology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / psychology*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data