Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Vocational and psychosocial predictors of medical negligence claims among Australian doctors: a prospective cohort analysis of the MABEL survey
    Bradfield, OM ; Bismark, M ; Scott, A ; Spittal, M (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-06-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To understand the association between medical negligence claims and doctors' sex, age, specialty, working hours, work location, personality, social supports, family circumstances, self-rated health, self-rated life satisfaction and presence of recent injury or illness. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective cohort study of Australian doctors. PARTICIPANTS: 12 134 doctors who completed the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life survey between 2013 and 2019. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Doctors named as a defendant in a medical negligence claim in the preceding 12 months. RESULTS: 649 (5.35%) doctors reported being named in a medical negligence claim during the study period. In addition to previously identified demographic factors (sex, age and specialty), we identified the following vocational and psychosocial risk factors for claims: working full time (OR=1.48, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.94) or overtime hours (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.23), working in a regional centre (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.08), increasing job demands (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.30), low self-rated life satisfaction (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.91) and recent serious personal injury or illness (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.72). Having an agreeable personality was mildly protective (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.00). When stratified according to sex, we found that working in a regional area, low self-rated life satisfaction and not achieving work-life balance predicted medical negligence claims in male, but not female, doctors. However, working more than part-time hours and having a recent personal injury or illness predicted medical negligence claims in female, but not male, doctors. Increasing age predicted claims more strongly in male doctors. Personality type predicted claims in both male and female doctors. CONCLUSIONS: Modifiable risk factors contribute to an increased risk of medical negligence claims among doctors in Australia. Creating more supportive work environments and targeting interventions that improve doctors' health and well-being could reduce the risk of medical negligence claims and contribute to improved patient safety.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Medical negligence claims and the health and life satisfaction of Australian doctors: a prospective cohort analysis of the MABEL survey
    Bradfield, OM ; Bismark, M ; Scott, A ; Spittal, M (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-05-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between medical negligence claims and doctors' self-rated health and life satisfaction. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Registered doctors practising in Australia who participated in waves 4 to 11 of the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) longitudinal survey between 2011 and 2018. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-rated health and self-rated life satisfaction. RESULTS: Of the 15 105 doctors in the study, 885 reported being named in a medical negligence claim. Fixed-effects linear regression analysis showed that both self-rated health and self-rated life satisfaction declined for all doctors over the course of the MABEL survey, with no association between wave and being sued. However, being sued was not associated with any additional declines in self-rated health (coef.=-0.02, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.02, p=0.39) or self-rated life satisfaction (coef.=-0.01, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.07, p=0.91) after controlling for a range of job factors. Instead, we found that working conditions and job satisfaction were the strongest predictors of self-rated health and self-rated life satisfaction in sued doctors. In analyses restricted to doctors who were sued, we observed no changes in self-rated health (p=0.99) or self-rated life satisfaction (p=0.59) in the years immediately following a claim. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to prior overseas cross-sectional survey studies, we show that medical negligence claims do not adversely affect the well-being of doctors in Australia when adjusting for time trends and previously established covariates. This may be because: (1) prior studies failed to adequately address issues of causation and confounding; or (2) legal processes governing medical negligence claims in Australia cause less distress compared with those in other jurisdictions. Our findings suggest that the interaction between medical negligence claims and poor doctors' health is more complex than revealed through previous studies.