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08-01-2020 | Uitgave 6/2020

Quality of Life Research 6/2020

Optimizing quality of life among Chinese physicians: the positive effects of resilience and recovery experience

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2020
Jialin Ding, Yajing Jia, Jinfeng Zhao, Fengzhi Yang, Ruqing Ma, Xiaoshi Yang
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Jialin Ding and Yajing Jia have contributed to the work equally and should be regarded as co-first authors.

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The physicians in Chinese public tertiary hospitals are exposed to considerable work-related stress because of the imperfections in hierarchical diagnosis and treatment systems, such as the imperfections in referral system and low quality in diagnosis and treatment outcomes in community hospitals, for which most patients visit tertiary hospitals firstly in order to access a higher quality health care service. As a consequence, the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for Chinese physicians is compromised. However, there is a paucity of research exploring physicians’ physical and mental health and positive psychological resource factors such as resilience and recovery experience (RE) which can help maintain well-being. Thus, this study aims to assess HRQOL of Chinese physicians and explore the relationship between HRQOL, resilience, and RE.


A cross-sectional study with proportional sampling was conducted in Shenyang, China from February to October 2018. A total of 642 physicians in five public tertiary hospitals were enrolled in this study. They completed the smartphone questionnaire including the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), the EGO Resilience Scale, and Recovery Experience Questionnaire (REQ). Linear regression analysis was conducted to explore the factors associated with HRQOL. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate the mediating effect of RE on the relationship between resilience and HRQOL.


Regression analysis indicated that resilience and RE were the most important contributors to both physical and mental component summary scores. SEM showed that RE partially mediated the relationship between resilience and HRQOL in these physicians.


Chinese physicians exhibited good physical health, but poor mental health. Resilience could help maintain and improve HRQOL through the partial mediating effect of RE. Resilience and RE enhancement should be provided to effectively manage work-related stress and improve both physical and mental health for the long-term well-being of physicians.

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