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Occupational Medicine
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 60  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 491 - 493

Increasing size of health centres may not prevent occupational isolation

P Mantyselka, M Aira, A Vehvilainen and E. Kumpusalo    


Background A Finnish national survey in 2002 revealed that Finnish physicians often feel that working in a primary heath care centre is isolated work.

Aims To determine the factors related to perceived isolation in health centre work among general practitioners (GP) working in health centres.

Methods A postal questionnaire study of physicians (N = 1829) working in primary health care centres.

Results The majority of GPs (67%) agreed that ‘working in a health centre is too often isolated work’. Physicians felt isolated most often when working in the largest health centres (>20 posts), whereas physicians working in health centres with 3–10 posts perceived isolation least often. Difficulty in collaboration with partners or the managerial team was associated with this feeling.

Conclusions Feelings of isolation are common among Finnish health centre physicians, but increasing the size of primary health care units may not prevent these feelings.

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