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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ESCRIBA-AGUIR, Vicenta  and  BERNABE-MUNOZ, Yolanda. Coping Stress Strategies and Sources of Professional Gratification Among Specialist in the Community of Valencia: A Qualitative Study . Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.76, n.5, pp.595-604. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The professionals in the medical field are particularly exposed to psychological risk factors which may affect their quality of life. Identification of stress coping strategies and the sources of professional rewards would afford the possibility of implementing preventive measures aimed a moderating the negative effect of these risk factors. The objectives of this study are to identify the stress coping strategies that are used by specialised doctors from six public hospitals of the Valencian Community, and to describe their sources of work reward and job satisfaction.  Methods: A qualitative study conducted by means of quasi-structured individual interviews of 47 specialists employed at six public hospitals in the province of Valencia. The interviews were taped and subsequently transcribed. An analysis was made of the substance of the opinions expressed. Results. The coping strategies mentioned most often by the physicians interviewed, analyzed overall, are those focused on the emotions, specifically, disconnecting conduct and seeking social emotional support. However, when confronted with specific stressful factors in daily practice, the strategies most often employed as those focused on the problem. A major part of the physicians surveyed state not having any work reward. Among those who do state finding some aspects gratifying, top mention is made of their salary, personal satisfaction related to being in the medical field being ranked second. Conclusions. Including training related to active stress coping strategies in the professional curriculum of physicians could heighten their personal resources for dealing with stress. Organizational changes should additionally be made to increase their work rewards.

Keywords : Health personnel; Copying Processes; Job Satisfaction; Occupational Stress; Physicians; Hospitals; Occupational Health.

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