Fatigue, emotional exhaustion and perceived health complaints associated with work-related characteristics in employees with and without chronic diseases.
until further notice
SourceInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 80, 7, (2007), pp. 577-587
Article / Letter to editor
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International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health
OBJECTIVES: Ageing of the Dutch working force and increasingly more stringent restrictions regarding early retirement and disability benefits are leading to higher numbers of workers with ill health. Until now, only a few studies have explored how employees with ill health perceive their work. This study investigated possible differences in scores on fatigue, emotional exhaustion, perceived health complaints and various work-related characteristics between chronically ill (CIWs) and non-chronically ill workers (NCIWs), as well as differences in associations between work- and health-related characteristics. METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all employees of a Dutch university to collect data on perceived work-related and health-related characteristics (response 49.1%). Differences in various scores were analysed using chi (2)-tests and the general linear model. Associations between the work- and the health-related characteristics were determined by multiple linear regression analyses in the CIWs (n = 444) and NCIWs (n = 1,347) separately. Interaction terms were included to detect differences between the two groups. RESULTS: The results indicated that the CIWs had less favourable scores on the three health-related characteristics. Also, the CIWs scored less favourably than the NCIWs on almost all the work-related characteristics. In the two groups, negative work-related aspects, such as higher work pressure, contributed most to explaining the variance in the health-related characteristics. However, in the CIWs, fatigue was not explained by the work-related aspects as much as in the NCIWs. In the CIWs, the association between unpleasant treatment and the health-related characteristics was stronger than in the NCIWs, but there were indications that autonomy, possibilities for learning and social support from superiors also played an important role. CONCLUSIONS: CIWs perceived more fatigue, emotional exhaustion and health complaints than NCIWs. There were different patterns of associations between work- and health-related characteristics in the NCIWs and CIWs. Future studies on associations between work-related characteristics and health should take the presence of chronic disease into account.
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