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Type: Journal article
Title: The role of occupational stress in the maladaptive use of alcohol by dentists: A study of South Australian general dental practitioners
Author: Winwood, P.
Winefield, A.
Lushington, K.
Citation: Australian Dental Journal, 2003; 48(2):102-109
Publisher: Australian Dental Assn Inc
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 0045-0421
Statement of
PC Winwood, AH Winefield and K. Lushington
Abstract: Background: It is well recognized that dentistry is a stressful profession. However, there are conflicting views about the extent to which such stress contributes to hazardous drinking among dentists. In addition, the relative contributions of stress and pre-existing vulnerability in predicting alcohol problems among dentists generally (and Australian dentists in particular) have yet to be determined. Methods: The levels of stress and alcohol consumption of 312 South Australian dentists were measured. Factors known to mediate vulnerability to alcohol disorders were also assessed with appropriate psychometric instruments. Results: High levels of stress/burnout, consistent with other studies of dentists' stress, were recorded. Hazardous levels of alcohol consumption, which were between two and four times higher than the normative South Australian population, were also reported, particularly among males and rural dentists. Conclusions: To a significant extent, stress and hazardous alcohol consumption are both present among South Australian dentists. However, compared with work stress/burnout, existing personal vulnerability factors are much stronger predictors of such hazardous alcohol consumption. We suggest that professional dental bodies, and state Dental Boards, may play a role in ensuring stress inoculation and guidance on safe limits of alcohol consumption for dentists-in-training; and in creating appropriate mechanisms for assisting dentists who experience alcohol related difficulties.
Keywords: Alcohol abuse
DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2003.tb00017.x
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Psychology publications

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