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Med Lav. 2006 Jan-Feb;97(1):5-12.

[Experience of a centre for the study of occupational adjustment disorders referred to psychological harassment-related diseases at the workplace].

[Article in Italian]

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Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, Ambulatorio di Medicina del Lavoro, Pisa.



The rising awareness of psychological harassment at the workplace means that it is ever more important to collect clinical data and test tools to assess psychiatric disease connected with this phenomenon.


The aim of the study was to assess the experience gained by the centre for work maladjustment of the University Hospital of Pisa on a sample of patients, using the methods proposed by the centre at the Clinica del Lavoro "Luigi Devoto".


The patients were submitted to a diagnostic protocol consisting of work history, medical examination, psychological assessment, psychiatric examination, subjective questionnaires, mood scale and Neutest. The analysis was made in two phases in which 109 subjects were examined to check occupational stress effects in the period March 2002 - July 2004, after which 50 subjects were selected (45.9%) with the adaptation disorder and a history of adverse working conditions.


The data gathered showed a slight predominance of workers from the public administration sector. The most representative range of duration of the psychological violence varied from 6 months to 2 years (46%). From close examination of the causes of the maladjustment disorders, structural changes in organization appeared to be the most frequent (13 cases). Among patients with positive diagnosis of disorder caused by psychological violence at the workplace, three situations were prominent: attitude to being a social outcast, behaviour to ignore proposals, and professional declassing.


The multidisciplinary approach was culturally very stimulating and fundamental in reaching a final diagnosis of occupational disease: diagnosis of bullying at work and related disease was possible only thanks to the fact that three specialists agreed on the aetiological role of psychological harassment at the workplace. Our experience confirms that psychological harassment can cause health impairment and the most common diagnosis is maladjustment disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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