ABSTRACT Background: Concern about protecting patient privacy is proposed to be a barrier for physic- cians to talk about emotional distress from their professional experiences. This makes it difficult for many physicians to utilize and fully benefit from different network of social support. The subjective burden of confidentiality is reported to be associated with physician’s health and wellbeing. Aims: To gain knowledge about fac- tors in the in personal and professional sphere that can be associated with the subjective bur- den of confidentiality. Methods: Qualitative semi- structured interviews with 14 general practi- tioners and hospital physicians in Norway. Ex- amination of transcribed verbatim interviews using qualitative content analysis. Results: The subjective burden of confidentiality is likely linked with factors such as perception of pro- fessional role, social support from colleagues, partners and friends; size of patient population, organizational factors and work environment, and the overlap between personal and profess- sional relationships. Conclusions: Addressing the interaction of emotional demands and pa- tient confidentiality is important to study suc- cessful coping with distress from physician’s professional experiences.
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