Assesment of scientists’ lifestyle and risk factors affecting their professional efficiency
M.D. Vasiliev1, E.V. Makarova1, A.A. Kostrov1, S.A. Palevskaya1,2, S.M. Smbatyan1,3
1N.A. Semashko National Research Institute of Public Health, bldg. 1, 12 Vorontsovo Pole Str., Moscow, 105064, Russian Federation
2Samara State Medical University, 18 Gagarina Str., Samara, 443079, Russian Federation
3M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute (MONIKI), bldg. 1, 61/2 Shchepkina Str., Moscow, 129110, Russian Federation
People involved in scientific research should keep their cognitive status high since this is necessary for preserving their intellectual potential and maintaining their work efficiency. Given that, it seems important to determine what impacts scientific work might have on mental health, to estimate potential disorders and to develop a strategy aimed at preventing cognitive impairments. Our research goals were to perform screening assessment of executive functions, to examine signs of premature ageing and to explore behavioral and social risk factors among Russian researchers.
We accomplished a cross-sectional study with 213 researchers employed by state scientific institutions in Moscow participating in it; they were 116 women and 97 men aged from 23 to 78 years (their average age was 45.48 ± 15.33 years).
As a result, we established that risk factors causing a decline in professional efficiency were rather frequent among the participants. Probable cognitive disorders were detected in 9.85 % of them and we should note that these disorders were not age-related. We detected signs of senile asthenia in 3.28 % of the participants and senile depression in 2.34 %. Two thirds of the participants had subclinical depression (74.6 %). Only one fifth of the respondents (19.71 %, n = 42) did not have any cognitive impairments, asthenic syndrome, or depression. A quarter of the researchers (25.34 %) were not sufficiently committed to healthy lifestyle. Low physical activity established for 79.3 % of the respondents was the major risk factor; among others, we can mention irrational nutrition, primarily among those researchers who worked with students; poor stress management skills among physicians who combined clinical practice with science; difficulties in interpersonal relationships among people who dealt solely with research.
It is necessary to implement corporate programs aimed at prevention and rehabilitations for researchers in order to preserve their scientific activity and professional efficiency as well as to extend their professional longevity/
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