Background: There is evidence both that a doctor's own well-being is closely associated with efficiency and positive attitude to patients, and that levels of stress, anxiety and depression in doctors are rising.
Objectives: This postal survey aimed to measure anxiety and depression levels in general practitioners in 1994 and identify any associations with personal and practice characteristics.
Methods: All general practitioners with patients in Staffordshire were invited to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale.
Results: Six hundred and twenty of 896 general practitioners replied (response rate 69%). No gender differences were found in rates of anxiety and depression; overall, 19% of respondents were 'cases' of anxiety and 22% others had borderline anxiety scores; 10% were 'cases' of depression and 16% others had borderline depression scores. Anxiety 'caseness' was associated with living alone, amount of on-call duties undertaken, and being fourth/fifth wave fundholders. Depression 'caseness' was associated with having little free time from practice work, amount of on-call, being single handed, and working in a non-training practice.
Conclusions: The authors concluded that the level of mental ill-health in general practitioners is a matter of concern and is associated with workload.