Advertisement

Journal of Community Health

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 924–931 | Cite as

Health Related Absenteeism of Family Physicians in the Negev Region of Israel: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • Ahmed Khalaila
  • Ilana Margolin
  • Roni Peleg
Original Paper
  • 95 Downloads

Abstract

Physicians tend to treat their own illnesses differently than the general population, sometimes continuing to come to work when ill. To assess whether family physicians continue to work when ill. A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample. A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire, that included socio-demographic data, questions relating to illness, and reasons for work absenteeism, was completed by family physicians in the Negev region of Israel. 107 physicians participated in the study including 46 women (43 %). The mean age was 45.1 ± 11.4. Forty physicians (37.4 %) said they come to work with an acute illness, 47 (43.9 %) answered that they do so some of the time, and 19 (17.8 %) said that they did not come to work ill. On a scale from 1 to 10 the mean score for the question as to whether physicians are liable to infect their patients was 7.4, with a higher score meaning more likely to infect. Older physicians were more likely to say that the decision to stay away from work was related to the lack of available physicians (P = 0.002), while board certified physicians were more likely than residents to stay away from work due to an acute illness (P = 0.023). Family physicians in the Negev sometimes work when they are ill. This finding has positive sides related to dedication to patients and the work place, but one cannot ignore the fact that patients may be infected by their physicians. Behavioral guidelines, including social, legal, and ethical aspects, should be formulated on this issue.

Keywords

Family physicians Health Health-related absenteeism Illness behavior 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Peleg, A., Peleg, R., Porath, A., & Horowitz, Y. (1999). Hallway medicine: Prevalence, characteristics and attitudes of hospital physicians. IMAJ, 1, 241–244.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Christie, J. D., Rosen, I. M., Bellini, L. M., et al. (1998). Prescription drug use and self-prescription among resident physicians. JAMA, 280, 1253–1255.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Levy, M. A., Arnold, R. M., Fine, M. J., & Kapoor, W. N. (1993). Professional courtesy—current practices and attitudes. New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 1627–1631.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Spiro, H. M., & Mandell, H. N. (1998). When doctors get sick. Annals of Internal Medicine, 128, 152–154.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gross, C. P., Mead, L. A., Ford, D. E., & Klag, M. J. (2000). Physician, heal thyself? Regular source of care and use of preventive health services among physicians. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160, 3209–3214.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Toyry, S., Rasanen, K., Kujala, S., et al. (2000). Self-reported health, illness, and self-care among finnish physicians: A national survey. Archives of Family Medicine, 9, 1079–1085.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hasin, M. (1994). Who takes care of the clinic health team? Harefuah, 127, 527–529.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Peleg, R., Ostermich, A., Gienco, V., & Portughiez, E. (2013). Screening tests among family doctors: Do we do as we preach? Public Health, 127, 282–289.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Biderman, A., Levy, A., & Shvartzman, P. (2010). Reasons for sick leave certifications: A case-control study of the Israeli family medicine research network (RAMBAM). Harefuah, 149(640–644), 684.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosvold, E. O., & Bjertness, E. (2001). Physicians who do not take sick leave: Hazardous heroes? Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 29, 71–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McKevitt, C., Morgan, M., Dundas, R., & Holland, W. W. (1997). Sickness absence and ‘working through’ illness: A comparison of two professional groups. Journal of Public Health Medicine, 19, 295–300.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Waldron, H. A. (1996). Sickness in the medical profession. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 40, 391–396.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Baldwin, P. J., Dodd, M., & Wrate, R. M. (1997). Young doctors’ health–II. Health and health behaviour. Social Science and Medicine, 45, 41–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haley, R. W., & Emori, T. G. (1981). The employee health service and infection control in US hospitals, 1976–1977. II. Managing employee illness. JAMA, 246, 962–966.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stoudemire, A., & Rhoads, J. M. (1983). When the doctors need a doctor: Special consideration for the physician patient. Annals of Internal Medicine, 98, 654–659.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chambers, R., & Belcher, J. (1992). Self-reported health care over the past 10 years: A survey of general practitioners. British Journal of General Practice, 42, 153–156.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Menahem, S., Nazarenko, A., & Shvartzman, P. (2014). Minor surgical procedures and musculoskeletal injections by primary care physicians—an Israeli experience. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 3(1), 12.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine and Siaal Research Center for Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Clalit Health ServicesBeer-ShevaIsrael
  3. 3.Asia Healthcare ServicesBeer-ShevaIsrael

Personalised recommendations