Stress, anxiety, depressive disorders, and somatisation among lawyers
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Niepubliczny Zakład Opieki Zdrowotnej nMed, Kraków
Department of Environmental Medicine and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Sylwia Chrobak-Kasprzyk   

Niepubliczny Zakład Opieki Zdrowotnej nMed, ul. E. Radzikowskiego 17/2, 31-315 Kraków
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2020;74:116-125
The American Bar Association has published alarming figures, according to which 28% of lawyers in the USA suffer from depression, 19% demonstrate symptoms of anxiety, and 21% have an alcohol problem. Little is known about stress, anxiety, depressive disorders and somatization among Polish lawyers; therefore this paper is the first assessment of these disorders.

Material and methods:
The study covered 206 lawyers who are members of the District Bar Association in Katowice. An anonymous survey was carried out using the 4DSQ questionnaire.

Nearly 22% of lawyers have an increased level of stress, including 2% with a severely increased stress level. Somatization correlated strongly with stress, depression and anxiety, and occurred in about 21% of subjects. The study revealed a statistically significant relationship between the working hours per week and the following subscales: anxiety (r = 0.17; p = 0.01), stress (r = 0.17; p = 0.01), and depression (r = 0.16; p = 0.02). The performed analysis showed a statistically significant difference in the level of depression between women and men (t = 2.14; p = 0.03).

The study is the first assessment of somatization, stress, anxiety, and depressive disorders among lawyers in Poland. High stress levels were found among the subjects, which correlated most significantly with somatization of the musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiovascular systems. Anxiety and depressive disorders were more frequent among lawyers than in the general population, and the number of somatic symptoms increased along with the severity of these disorders. Depressive disorders were more common among men.

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