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Occup Med (Lond). 2008 Mar;58(2):122-8. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqm148. Epub 2008 Jan 18.

Psychopathological features of a patient population of targets of workplace bullying.

Author information

1
CHU Clermont Ferrand, Pôle Urgences, Clermont-Ferrand, F63001 France. gbrousse@chu-clermontferrand.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A strong association between workplace bullying and subsequent anxiety and depression, indicated by empirical research, suggests that bullying is an aetiological factor for mental health problems.

AIMS:

To evaluate levels of stress and anxiety-depression disorder developed by targets of workplace bullying together with outcome at 12 months and to characterize this population in terms of psychopathology and sociodemographic features.

METHODS:

Forty-eight patients (36 women and 12 men) meeting Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terror criteria for bullying were included in a prospective study. Evaluations were performed at first consultation and at 12 months using a standard clinical interview, a visual analogue scale of stress, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale, the Beech scale of stress in the workplace and a projective test (Picture-Frustration Study).

RESULTS:

At first consultation, 81% of patients showed high levels of perceived stress at work and 83 and 52% presented with anxiety or depression, respectively. At 12 months, only 19% of working patients expressed a feeling of stress at work. There was a significant change in symptoms of anxiety while there was no change in symptoms of depression. Stress at work and depression influenced significatively capacity to go back to work. At 12-month assessments, workers showed a significantly better score on the HAD scale than non-workers. Over half the targets presented a neuroticism-related predominant personality trait.

CONCLUSION:

Workplace bullying can have severe mental health repercussions, triggering serious and persistent underlying disorders.

PMID:
18204005
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqm148
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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