British doctors' work-life balance and home-life satisfaction: a cross-sectional study
journal contributionposted on 2022-02-14, 06:13 authored by Swati Parida, Abdullah Aamir, Jahangir Alom, Tania A Rufai, Sohaib R Rufai
To assess British doctors’ work–life balance, home-life satisfaction and associated barriers.
We designed an online survey using Google Forms and distributed this via a closed social media group with 7031 members, exclusively run for British doctors. No identifiable data were collected and all respondents provided consent for their responses to be used anonymously. The questions covered demographic data followed by exploration of work–life balance and home-life satisfaction across a broad range of domains, including barriers thereto. Thematic analysis was performed for free-text responses.
417 doctors completed the survey (response rate: 6%, typical for online surveys). Only 26% reported a satisfactory work–life balance; 70% of all respondents reported their work negatively affected their relationships and 87% reported their work negatively affected their hobbies. A significant proportion of respondents reported delaying major life events due to their working patterns: 52% delaying buying a home, 40% delaying marriage and 64% delaying having children. Female doctors were most likely to enter less-than-full-time working or leave their specialty. Thematic analysis revealed seven key themes from free-text responses: unsocial working, rota issues, training issues, less-than-full-time working, location, leave and childcare.
This study highlights the barriers to work–life balance and home-life satisfaction among British doctors, including strains on relationships and hobbies, leading to many doctors delaying certain milestones or opting to leave their training position altogether. It is imperative to address these issues to improve the well-being of British doctors and improve retention of the current workforce.
CitationPostgraduate Medical Journal Published Online First: 17 December 2021. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2021-141338
Author affiliationDepartment of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, College of Life Sciences
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)