Job stressors and coping strategies as predictors of mental health and job satisfaction among Irish general practitioners.

Previous research has shown that many general practitioners were experiencing stress levels detrimental to their well-being. To examine coping strategies of Irish general practitioners and the possible impact of their stress on mental health and job satisfaction. Anonymous questionnaires were posted to 226 general practitioners in the Western Health Board. Just over one third of stressors caused moderate to considerable stress. Coping was important in the stress process. Sometimes, coping strategies predicted stress-related outcomes better than stressors. General practitioners' mental health was slightly better than that of a normative group. They tended to be satisfied with all aspects of the job, except hours of work. The provision of counselling services for general practitioners suffering from stress should be encouraged. Stress-management strategies should include training in coping skills and time management. The increased use of co-operatives could help alleviate the stress of out-of-hours work.