Neuro-enhancement among german junior physicians: Prevalence, reasons and associations to mental health outcomes and quality of life.

Work. 2020 Oct 08;:

Authors: Mache S, Bernburg M, Groneberg D, Harth V

BACKGROUND: Previous research studies have demonstrated that neuro-enhancement, the use of legal or illegal drugs by healthy individuals to improve their job performance, is practiced among employees. Researchers discussed possible reasons for employees to consider the use of substances for neuro-enhancement.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of usage and motives for practicing neuro-enhancement among a sample of German junior physicians. The secondary objective was to determine associations between neuro-enhancement, mental health outcomes and quality of life.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study included an online survey to analyze junior physicians’ neuro-enhancement stimulant use and their motives for usage (n = 873). Second, mental health outcomes and quality of life were assessed. Descriptive and analytic (Kruskal Wallis test, logistic regression) statistics were obtained.
RESULTS: Of the 873 junior physicians, 18% reported having used stimulants for neuro- enhancement. 8% of the physicians have taken prescription stimulants (e.g. modafinil) or illicit drugs (e.g. cannabis) at least once in their lifetime. The most common reasons for taking stimulants were to enhance concentration, to relax and to increase alertness. Neuro-enhancement was associated with emotional exhaustion (p <  0.01), lower quality of life (p <  0.05) and work-related stress (p <  0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study results give an overview on the actual situation regarding frequency and motives for taking performance-enhancing substances. The prevalence rate was low in comparison to current public debates. Decreasing the prevalence of neuro-enhancement among physicians requires the implementation of strategies targeting stress reduction and workload management.

PMID: 33044210 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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