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Managing work–family conflict in the medical profession: working conditions and individual resources as related factors
  1. Stefanie Mache1,
  2. Monika Bernburg2,
  3. Karin Vitzthum2,
  4. David A Groneberg3,
  5. Burghard F Klapp4,
  6. Gerhard Danzer4
  1. 1Institute for Occupational Medicine and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Occupational Medicine, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  3. 3Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  4. 4Charité Center for Internal Medicine and Dermatology, Division of General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stefanie Mache; s.mache{at}


Objectives This study developed and tested a research model that examined the effects of working conditions and individual resources on work–family conflict (WFC) using data collected from physicians working at German clinics.

Material and methods This is a cross-sectional study of 727 physicians working in German hospitals. The work environment, WFC and individual resources were measured by the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, the WFC Scale, the Brief Resilient Coping Scale and the Questionnaire for Self-efficacy, Optimism and Pessimism. Descriptive, correlation and linear regression analyses were applied.

Results Clinical doctors working in German hospitals perceived high levels of WFC (mean=76). Sociodemographic differences were found for age, marital status and presence of children with regard to WFC. No significant gender differences were found. WFCs were positively related to high workloads and quantitative job demands. Job resources (eg, influence at work, social support) and personal resources (eg, resilient coping behaviour and self-efficacy) were negatively associated with physicians’ WFCs. Interaction terms suggest that job and personal resources buffer the effects of job demands on WFC.

Conclusions In this study, WFC was prevalent among German clinicians. Factors of work organisation as well as factors of interpersonal relations at work were identified as significant predictors for WFC. Our results give a strong indication that both individual and organisational factors are related to WFC. Results may play an important role in optimising clinical care. Practical implications for physicians’ career planning and recommendations for future research are discussed.


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