Article ID: 2015-0134
The importance of work-home interface stress can vary throughout a medical career and between genders. We studied changes in work-home interface stress over 5 yr, and their prediction of emotional exhaustion (main dimension of burn-out), controlled for other variables. A nationwide doctor cohort (NORDOC; n=293;) completed questionnaires at 10 and 15 yr after graduation. Changes over the period were examined and predictors of emotional exhaustion analyzed using linear regression. Levels of work-home interface stress declined, whereas emotional exhaustion stayed on the same level. Lack of reduction in work-home interface stress was an independent predictor of emotional exhaustion in year 15 (β=−0.21, p=0.001). Additional independent predictors were reduction in support from colleagues (β=0.11, p=0.04) and emotional exhaustion at baseline (β=0.62, p<0.001). Collegial support was a more important predictor for men than for women. In separate analyses, significant adjusted predictors were lack of reduction in work-home interface stress among women, and reduction of collegial support and lack of reduction in working hours among men. Thus, change in work-home interface stress is a key independent predictor of emotional exhaustion among doctors 15 yr after graduation. Some gender differences in predictors of emotional exhaustion were found.