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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


DELGADO, Ana; SALETTI-CUESTA, Lorena; LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ, Luis Andrés  and  TORO-CARDENAS, Silvia. Familial characteristics and self-perceived health among female and male primary care physicians in Andalusia (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.6, pp.508-515. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To determine the relationships between a group of professional and family characteristics and the components of physical and mental health in female and male primary care physicians working in health centers in Andalusia (Spain). Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, multicenter study was performed. The population consisted of urban health centers in Andalusia and their physicians. The sample comprised 88 health centers and 500 physicians. Measurements consisted of sex, age, professional characteristics (postgraduate training in family medicine, position of health center manager, accreditation as a residents’ tutor, and workload based on patient quota and the mean number of patients/day); family responsibilities, defined by two dimensions of the family-work relationship (support overload-family support deficit and family-work conflict); and perceived physical and mental health. The data source was a self-administered questionnaire sent by surface mail. Multiple regression analyses were performed for physical and mental health for the whole sample and by gender. Results: Responses were obtained from 368 physicians (73.6%). Mental health was worse in female physicians than in male physicians; no differences were found between genders in physical health. The family-work conflict was associated with physical and mental health in physicians of both genders. Physical health deteriorated with increasing age in both genders, improved in the female tutors of residents, and decreased with increasing family-work conflict in male physicians. Mental health decreased with increasing housework on the weekends and with family-work conflict in both genders. In male physicians, mental health deteriorated with postgraduate training in family medicine and improved if they were health center managers. Conclusions: Workload and professional characteristics have little relationship with the health of primary care physicians. Family characteristics play a greater role.

Keywords : Health; Occupational health; Gender; Primary health care; Family relations; Family physicians.

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