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Distressed but Highly Satisfied: Professional and Personal Distress of Nepali Doctors

Journal of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
Yubaraj Adhikari, Birgit Senft

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Background:This research studied the prevalence of professional and personal distress of Nepali doctors, and examined the impact of their professional quality of life (ProQOL) on their distress.

Aim:To examine the situation of personal and professional distress and explore interrelationships between measures of ProQOL (burnout - BO, secondary traumatic stress - STS, and compassion satisfaction - CS) with personal distress (anxiety, depression and somatic burden) of Nepali doctors.

Methods:A survey design was used to examine the personal and professional distress of doctors using an online and a paper-and-pencil survey with the use of Somatic Symptoms Scale (SSS-8), Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25) and Professional Quality of life Scale in Nepali (ProQOL5-N) tools. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques were used to measure the influence of professional distress on personal distress.

Results:The prevalence of anxiety, depression, psychosomatic distress and suicide risks of Nepali doctors (N= 557) were 30.89 %, 25.41 %, 20.50% and 5.70% respectively. BO and STS scores showed moderate risks (BO = 95.25% and STS = 76.23 %), with just over 1% doctors at high risk for BO and STS (1.28% and 1.65% respectively). Nepali doctors were highly satisfied with their service (CS = 93.42%). The data on SEM showed a reasonably good fit between the STS and CS measures and levels of personal distress of studied population, but BO could not be tested. A moderate but statistically significant positive effect of STS on personal distress, except psychosomatic distress, was found. The effect of CS on personal distress could not be determined.

Conclusions:One-fifth of Nepali doctors had a high level of personal distress. The risk for BO and STS was moderate. Nepali doctors found highly satisfied with their service. The impact of professional distress on personal distress could not be fully determined.


Depression, Suicide, Burnout, ProQOL, SEM, Nepali Doctors