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Psychosocial stress, demoralization and the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and medical drugs by veterinarians

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Author(s): Harling Melanie | Strehmel Petra | Schablon Anja | Nienhaus Albert

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background In this cross-sectional study the association between psychosocial stress, demoralization and the consumption of psychotropic substances in veterinarians was examined using data from a sample of 1,060 subjects (52.7% response). Methods Multiple logistic regression models were used to determine risk factors for psychosocial stress, demoralization, tobacco consumption (≹ 10 items/day), high-risk alcohol consumption (men > 20 g pure alcohol/day, women > 10 g pure alcohol/day), binge drinking, problem drinking according to CAGE and regular medical drug intake (at least weekly). Results Intense psychosocial stress is a risk factor for binge drinking and for regular drug use. High demoralization values are associated with tobacco consumption, problem drinking and regular drug intake. The probability of a high demoralization value increased with intense psychosocial stress. Practicing veterinarians are more frequently affected by psychosocial stress and have a greater risk of alcohol or drug consumption than veterinarians working in a non-clinical area of work (e.g. Department of Veterinary Services, Industry). Conclusion The findings support the hypothesis of complex interrelationships between psychosocial stress, demoralization and the consumption of psychotropic substances in the veterinary profession and underscore the need of further research.

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