Importance of psychosocial work factors on general health outcomes in the national French SUMER survey.Occup Med (Lond) 2008; 58(1):15-24OM
To examine the associations between psychosocial work factors and general health outcomes, taking into account other occupational risk factors, within the national French working population.
The study was based on a large national sample of 24 486 women and men of the French working population who filled in a self-administered questionnaire in 2003 (response rate: 96.5%). Psychosocial work exposures included psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, workplace bullying and violence from the public. The three health indicators studied were self-reported health, long sickness absence (>8 days of absence) and work injury. Adjustment was made for covariates: age, occupation, work status, working hours, time schedules, physical, ergonomic, biological and chemical exposures. Men and women were studied separately.
Low levels of decision latitude, and of social support, and high psychological demands were found to be risk factors for poor self-reported health and long sickness absence. High demands were also found to be associated with work injury. Workplace bullying and/or violence from the public also increased the risk of poor health, long sickness absence and work injury.
Psychosocial work factors were found to be strong risk factors for health outcomes; the results were unchanged after adjustment for other occupational risk factors. Preventive efforts should be intensified towards reducing these psychosocial work exposures.