Psychosocial work environment and mental health among construction workers.Appl Ergon. 2013 Sep; 44(5):748-55.AE
We assessed psychosocial work environment, the prevalence of mental health complaints and the association between these two among bricklayers and construction supervisors. For this cross-sectional study a total of 1500 bricklayers and supervisors were selected. Psychosocial work characteristics were measured using the Dutch Questionnaire on the Experience and Evaluation of Work and compared to the general Dutch working population. Mental health effects were measured with scales to assess fatigue during work, need for recovery after work, symptoms of distress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The prevalence of self-reported mental health complaints was determined using the cut-off values. Associations between psychosocial work characteristics and self-reported mental health complaints were analysed using logistic regression. Total response rate was 43%. Compared to the general working population, bricklayers experienced statistically significant worse job control, learning opportunities and future perspectives; supervisors experienced statistically significant higher psychological demands and need for recovery. Prevalence of self-reported mental health effects among bricklayers and supervisors, respectively, were as follows: high need for recovery after work (14%; 25%), distress (5%, 7%), depression (18%, 20%) and post-traumatic stress disorder (11%, 7%). Among both occupations, high work speed and quantity were associated with symptoms of depression. Further, among construction supervisors, low participation in decision making and low social support of the direct supervisor was associated with symptoms of depression. The findings in the present study indicate psychosocial risk factors for bricklayers and supervisors. In each occupation a considerable proportion of workers was positively screened for symptoms of common mental disorders.