To explore relationships between different styles of working and measures of occupational pressure in consultant psychiatrists. A random sample of 500 consultant psychiatrists were sent a questionnaire about working patterns and lifestyle factors, with other sections using validated tools (such as the 12-item General Health Questionnaire; GHQ).
There were 185 useable questionnaires returned (an adjusted response rate of 39%). Significant relationships were identified between job content and GHQ and burnout scores, indicating that occupational pressures are rendering some consultant posts ‘problem posts', leading to problematic levels of psychological distress among some consultants.
Although consultant psychiatrists are more satisfied than not with their jobs, steps need to be taken to address the causes of ‘problem posts', to reduce attrition in the most pressured individuals.