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J Psychosom Res. 2009 Feb;66(2):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.05.007. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

Changes in mental health as a predictor of changes in working time arrangements and occupational mobility: results from a prospective cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. lore.deraeve@epid.unimaas.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this prospective study was to gain insight into a possible causal relationship between mental health and characteristics of the work situation.

METHODS:

Using longitudinal data from the Maastricht Cohort Study, this study examines whether deterioration in mental health (prolonged fatigue, need for recovery, and psychological distress) results in a subsequent change in working time arrangements (assessed by means of logistic regression analysis) or occupational mobility (assessed by means of Cox regression analysis).

RESULTS:

Compared to employees not experiencing a deterioration in mental health, employees who became a prolonged fatigue case were more likely to reduce their working hours (OR 2.49; 95% CI 1.42-4.35) and leave a shift work job (OR 3.44; 95% CI 1.42-8.38). Employees who became a need for recovery case were more likely to reduce their working hours (OR 2.83; 95% CI 1.53-5.26) or change jobs within the company (RR 1.31; 95% CI 1.07-1.61). Employees who became a psychological distress case were more likely to change jobs within the company (RR 1.38; 95% CI 1.16-1.65) or to change jobs from one employer to another (RR 1.45; 95% CI 1.03-2.03).

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study provide evidence for a possible causal relationship between deterioration in mental health and subsequent change in working time arrangements or occupational mobility. These results suggest that workers adapt to the onset of a mental health problem by reducing their working hours, by leaving a shift work job, by changing jobs within the company, or by changing jobs from one employer to another.

PMID:
19154856
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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