Factors associated with the mental wellbeing of medical professionals.

Milroy, Corinna and Sellwood, Bill (2022) Factors associated with the mental wellbeing of medical professionals. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This doctoral thesis explores several important factors relating to the poor psychological health reported in medical professionals and highlights opportunities to intervene. Section one reports a quantitative systematic literature review exploring the relationship between self-compassion and mental wellbeing in doctors and medical students. Four databases were searched (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and PubMed) and thirteen studies were included. High self-compassion was significantly associated with a reduced risk of burnout and stress and increased levels of work engagement, emotional wellbeing and compassion satisfaction. Effect sizes were comparable to those reported in other healthcare professionals. Two interventions were efficacious in increasing self-compassion and improving mental health. To advance on the findings of this review, further research is needed to understand the nature of the relationship and to explore interventions in controlled trials. Section two reports an empirical study investigating the relationship between perfectionistic concerns, psychological safety, and mental wellbeing in doctors. Participants (N = 121) completed an online survey comprising of self-report measures. In a regression model, low perfectionistic concerns and high psychological safety predicted better mental wellbeing, accounting for 44.5% of the variance. Psychological safety was not found to moderate the relationship between the other two variables, though this could be due to a type-II error. The findings highlight two important factors that could be targeted for mental wellbeing initiatives, although further research is needed to understand the relationship further. Section three includes a reflection of the challenges and decisions made during the thesis process, and reflections on my positionality

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Thesis (PhD)
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12 Oct 2022 13:15
Last Modified:
14 Nov 2023 00:32