Physicians' Psychosocial Work Conditions and Quality of Care: A Literature Review


  • Peter Angerer Heinrich Heine Universität
  • Matthias Weigl Ludwig-Maximilians-University



Background: Physician jobs are associated with adverse psychosocial work conditions. We summarize research on the relationship of physicians' psychosocial work conditions and quality of care. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE and PsycINFO. All studies were classified into three categories of care quality outcomes: Associations between physicians' psychosocial work conditions and (1) the physician-patient-relationship, or (2) the care process and outcomes, or (3) medical errors were examined. Results: 12 publications met the inclusion criteria. Most studies relied on observational cross-sectional and controlled intervention designs. All studies provide at least partial support for physicians’ psychosocial work conditions being related to quality of care. Conclusions: This review found preliminary evidence that detrimental physicians’ psychosocial work conditions adversely influence patient care quality. Future research needs to apply strong designs to disentangle the indirect and direct effects of adverse psychosocial work conditions on physicians as well as on quality of care.

Keywords: psychosocial work conditions, physicians, quality of care, physician-patient-relationship, hospital, errors, review, work stress, clinicians


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How to Cite

Angerer, P., & Weigl, M. (2015). Physicians’ Psychosocial Work Conditions and Quality of Care: A Literature Review. Professions and Professionalism, 5(1).

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