Study finds no link between stress and physician errors

August 21, 2009

Primary care physicians report job stress and a chaotic work environment, but researchers found no link between their feelings and an increase in medical errors, according to a recent study.

Primary care physicians report job stress and a chaotic work environment, but researchers found no link between their feelings and an increase in medical errors, according to a July study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The authors, who surveyed 422 physicians from 119 practices and 1,795 of their adult patients, found that more than half reported time pressure during office visits and more than three-quarters noted low control over their work. However, researchers were unable to find consistent associations between the physicians who reported time pressure and lower quality of care, judging from management of patients with hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure.