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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2002 Jun;56(6):450-4.

Effects of chronic job insecurity and change in job security on self reported health, minor psychiatric morbidity, physiological measures, and health related behaviours in British civil servants: the Whitehall II study.

Author information

  • 1International Centre for Health and Society, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. j.ferrie@public-health.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of chronic job insecurity and changes in job security on self reported health, minor psychiatric morbidity, physiological measures, and health related behaviours.

DESIGN:

Self reported health, minor psychiatric morbidity, physiological measures, and health related behaviours were determined in 931 women and 2429 men who responded to a question on job insecurity in 1995/96 and again in 1997/99. Self reported health status, clinical screening measures, and health related behaviours for participants whose job security had changed or who remained insecure were compared with those whose jobs had remained secure.

SETTING:

Prospective cohort study, Whitehall II, all participants were white collar office workers in the British Civil Service on entry to the study.

MAIN RESULTS:

Self reported morbidity was higher among participants who lost job security. Among those who gained job security residual negative effects, particularly in the psychological sphere were observed. Those exposed to chronic job insecurity had the highest self reported morbidity. Changes in the physiological measures were limited to an increase in blood pressure among women who lost job security and a decrease in body mass index among women reporting chronic job insecurity. There were no significant differences between any of the groups for alcohol over the recommended limits or smoking.

CONCLUSION:

Loss of job security has adverse effects on self reported health and minor psychiatric morbidity, which are not completely reversed by removal of the threat and which tend to increase with chronic exposure to the stressor.

Comment in

PMID:
12011203
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1732160
Free PMC Article
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