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Int J Dent Hyg. 2018 Feb;16(1):103-113. doi: 10.1111/idh.12257. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Workplace health in dental care - a salutogenic approach.

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Department of Natural Sciences and Biomedicine, Centre for Oral Health, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Intervention and Implementation Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Linköping, Sweden.
Futurum, Academy for Health and Care, Jönköping County Council, Jönköping, Sweden.
Department of Behavioral Science and Social Work, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.



The purpose was to explore self-reported psychosocial health and work environments among different dental occupations and workplaces from a salutogenic perspective. A further purpose was to analyse possible associations between three salutogenic measurements: The Sense of Coherence questionnaire (SOC), the Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale (SHIS) and the Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS).


Employees in the Public Dental Service in a Swedish county council (n = 486) were invited to respond to a self-reported web survey including demographics, work-related factors, the SOC, the SHIS and the WEMS.


This study showed positive associations between employee characteristics and self-reported overall psychosocial health as well as experienced work environment. Autonomy was reported more among men than women (P < 0.000) and to a higher degree by dentists and dental hygienists than dental nurses (P < 0.000). Meaningfulness, happiness, job satisfaction, autonomy and positive to reorganization were reported by personnels aged less than 40 years (P ≤ 0.047). Clinical coordinators reported significant better health (SOC, SHIS) and experienced more autonomy, better management and more positive to reorganization than other dental professions. Dental hygienists and nurses experienced less time pressure than dentists (P ≤ 0.007). Better health and positive work experiences were also seen in smaller clinics (P ≤ 0.29).


Dental professionals reported a high degree of overall psychosocial health as well as a positive work experience. Some variations could be seen between employee characteristics such as gender, years in dental care, professionals, managing position and workplace size. Identify resources and processes at each workplace are important and should be included in the employee's/employers dialogue.


dental staff; health promotion; psychosocial health; workplace

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