Patients and provider stress levels still high

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84% of health care providers report they have seen an increase in patient stress levels and mental health issues in the past three years.

Patients and provider stress levels still high | Image Credit: © joyfotoliakid - © joyfotoliakid - stock.adobe.com.

Patients and provider stress levels still high | Image Credit: © joyfotoliakid - © joyfotoliakid - stock.adobe.com.

During COVID, 63% of people agreed that uncertainty about what the next few months will be like caused them stress and 49% said the pandemic has made planning for their future feel impossible, according to the American Psychological Association.

According to a survey from AdvancedMD, stress is still negatively affecting both doctors and patients. For instance, the survey found:

  • 84% of health care providers report they have seen an increase in patient stress levels and mental health issues in the past three years.
  • 65% of health care providers say their work-related stress issues have increased since 2020.
  • 40% of health care providers say daily responsibilities have the biggest impact on their work-related stress.
  • 44% of health care providers exercise to help manage stress.

The survey found that many physicians in the health care field might be recommending behavioral health therapy, but aren’t practicing it themselves. Only 15% of the survey participants listed behavioral health therapy when asked about their preferred activity for managing stress.

The survey notes that the first step to addressing mental health issues is being able to talk about your stress: what’s causing it, how it affects your life, and all the ways it manifests during the day.

Post-pandemic staffing shortages combined with an increase in patient loads mean many physicians are forced to manage unsustainable workloads on top of many daily responsibilities. This combination only fuels the ongoing challenges plaguing the health care space: stressed out health care professionals with too much to do end up leaving their jobs, driving staffing shortages that keep much of the health care industry feeling as if they are forever stuck in a never-ending task cycle, according to the report.

This article was initially published by our sister publication, Medical Economics®.

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