Self-perceived health in psychiatrists and psychiatry trainees. The role of perfectionism and distress

Diana Guízar-Sánchez, María Yoldi-Negrete, Rebeca Robles-García, Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zarate, Luis Manjarrez-Gutiérrez, Czeslaw Kristofer Lugowski-Rivero, Gerardo Heinze-Martin, Ana Fresán



Introduction. Self-perceived health (SPH) is related to disease and well-being. Psychiatrists report burnout and mental disorders more frequently than other physicians, while personality traits related to perfectionism may influence the perception of well-being and health in these professionals.

Objective. To compare and determine the association between demographic variables, health conditions, perceived distress, perfectionism, and SPH.

Method. A cross-sectional, retrospective, comparative study was performed through an online survey. Psychiatrists and psychiatry trainees who were willing and able to participate were included. Demographic variables and self-reports of mental and physical conditions were examined. SPH was rated on a 10-point visual analogue scale and perfectionism through the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. Comparative analyses and multiple linear regression models were performed.

Results. Three hundred and thirty psychiatry trainees and 355 psychiatrists were recruited. Psychiatrists reported more physical conditions (32.4% vs. 15%, p < .001), distress (p < .001), and perfectionism (p < .001). Major depression and anxiety were present over 50% of all participants. A higher SPH was associated with being partnered and having higher distress levels in psychiatry trainees and with the absence of a physical health condition, less concern over errors, and higher personal standards in psychiatrists.

Discussion and conclusion. Self-oriented perfectionism may have a significant motivational component, accentuated by competitiveness and individualism. Being married and having higher levels of distress in psychiatry trainees appears to create a sense of satisfaction with achievements. The implementation of strategies to prioritize and meet goals is necessary to have an adequate work-life balance without affecting personal satisfaction or the sense of achievement.


Keywords: Self-perceived health; psychiatry; well-being; perfectionism

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