Job satisfaction and stressors for working in out-of-hours care - A pilot study with general practitioners in a rural area of Germany

R. Leutgeb*, J. Frankenhauser-Mannuß, M. Scheuer, J. Szecsenyi, Katja Goetz

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Challenging work environment, high workload, and increasing physician shortages characterize current rural general practice in Germany and in most European Countries. These factors extend into Out-Of-Hours Care (OOHC). However, little research about potential stressors for general practitioners (GPs) in OOHC settings is available. This pilot study aimed to evaluate workload, different elements of job satisfaction and stressors for GPs in OOHC and to analyze whether these aspects are associated with overall job satisfaction. Methods: Cross-sectional survey with a sample of 320 GPs who are working in OOHC was used to measure workload in OOHC, job satisfaction (using the Warr-Cook-Wall scale) and stressors with the effort-reward imbalance questionnaire. In order to assess associations between workload, job satisfaction and stressors at work we performed descriptive analyses as well as multivariable regression analyses. Results: The response rate was 40.9%. Over 80% agreed that OOHC was perceived as a stressor and 79% agreed that less OOHC improved job satisfaction. Only 42% of our sample were satisfied with their overall job satisfaction. The regression analysis showed that the modification of current OOHC organization was significantly associated with overall job satisfaction. Conclusions: Our results suggest that OOHC in the current form is a relevant stressor in daily work of rural GPs in Germany and one of the reasons for a decreasing overall job satisfaction. Strategic changes such as the implementation of structural reforms e.g. reducing frequency of OOHC duties for each GP and improving continuing professional development options related to OOHC are needed to address current workload challenges experienced by GPs providing OOHC in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
JournalBMC Family Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22.06.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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