Exposure to psychosocial factors at work and mental well-being in Europe.Med Lav 2014 Mar-Apr; 105(2):85-99ML
Depression among workers is a major health concern and psychological work factors are considered important risk factors.
To investigate exposure to psychosocial work risk factors and prevalence of depressive symptoms in the European working population, and to identify the psychosocial work characteristics that predict them.
The study is a secondary data analysis based on a sample of 33,907 European employees from the last edition of the European Working Condition Survey (EWCS 2010). The relationship between the outcome variable (depressive symptoms) and the predictors (psychosocial work factors) was analyzed using a multi-stage Poisson model, estimating gender-specific relative risks (RR) and 95 percent confidence intervals.
After adjustment for individual and work characteristics, countries and other psychosocial factors, among men the RR of depressive symptoms was significantly increased for exposure to intermediate psychological demands and to high demands for hiding emotions, whereas high skill discretion, high support from colleagues, high support from managers, high job rewards and high job security significantly decreased the risk. Among women, high psychological demands and intermediate emotional demands significantly enhanced the risk of depressive symptoms while high decision authority, intermediate support from colleagues, high support from managers, high social climate, high job rewards and high job security protected against risk.
A high prevalence of depressive symptoms was found in the EWCS 2010, although with wide variations between countries. Several psychosocial factors at work were identified as risk factors for depressive symptoms, even after adjusting for workplace co-exposures and other potential confounders.