Psychological Distress among Young Norwegian Health Professionals
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNerdrum, P., & Geirdal, A. Ø. (2013). Psychological Distress among Young Norwegian Health Professionals. Professions & Professionalism, 3(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.7577/pp.526
High psychological distress has been shown to be a risk for acquisition of skills that are necessary when working in the health professions. In this study, we present longitudinal data on psychological distress among 169 young Norwegian health professionals. We measured distress at the end of their studies, and three years later on, when being professional nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Psychological distress was assessed by applying the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ 12). 27% of the nursing students scored higher than the GHQ 12 case score at the end of the study, but as nurses, they became significantly less distressed three years later (13%). The other two professions showed relatively small and non-significant reductions in psychological distress during the first three years as a professional. Hierarchical multiple analyses showed that the level of psychological distress when finishing the study, the young professionals’ experience of personal support from colleagues, the experience of work-home conflicts and the experience of methodological coping at work were significant predictors of psychological distress three years after working as young health professionals. These four predictors explained together 28% in the variance in GHQ 12 three years after graduation. Belonging to any of the three professions did not contribute to the explained variance in psychological distress three years after graduation