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Recent results from the HOUPE study are the first to demonstrate that patient confidentiality is associated with burnout in the process of stress management among hospital physicians.

Concerns about protecting patient’s privacy are experienced as a limitation in the opportunity to obtain and utilize social support by many physicians. As resources of social support can modify the process of burnout, patient confidentiality may increase risk of this syndrome by interfering with proper stress adaptation.  A study of university hospital physicians in four European countries (The HOUPE study) investigated if experiencing limitations in seeking social support due to confidentiality concerns are associated with burnout. The results demonstrated that patient confidentiality is associated with burnout in the process of stress management among physicians. These findings were present when controlling for organizational factors known to diminish or increase the likelihood of burnout.

The findings are discussed in the recent issue of Dagens Medisin [In Norwegian] and to be published in Stress & Health