Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
ARENAS-MONREAL, Luz; HERNANDEZ-TEZOQUIPA, Isabel; VALDEZ-SANTIAGO, Rosario and BONILLA-FERNANDEZ, Pastor. Health institutions and physicians' self-care. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2004, vol.46, n.4, pp. 326-332. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342004000400007.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze how self-care of health workers is influenced by their professional training and institutional setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study took place from March 2000 to February 2001 in a health center, a general hospital, and a health research institute. Qualitative in-depth interviews were used to collect data. Four in-depth interviews were conducted among physicians at the study sites: two to primary care physicians and two to secondary care physicians. RESULTS: Study findings show that physicians face barriers to self-care. Secondary care physicians were particularly affected by long work journeys and multiemployment. The main difficulties were associated with stress, nutrition, rest, and recreational activities. Physicians did not regularly have medical check-ups and would often simply consult with their colleagues in "hallway checkups" when they were afflicted by an illness. The physicians coincided in their recommendation that the health institutions should develop policies, programs, guidelines, and facilities to promote self-care among health workers. CONCLUSIONS: Health institutions are not designed or organized to promote self-care among their personnel. In the case of secondary care physicians, the organizational structure often prevents them from engaging in healthy activities.
Keywords : self-care; physicians; health institutions; Mexico.