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Scand J Work Environ Health. 2017 Mar 1;43(2):187-190. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3621. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Does human resource primacy moderate the impact of psychological distress on subsequent risk for disability retirement?

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National Institute of Occupational Health, PB 8149 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.


Objective Human resource primacy (HRP) refers to employees' perceptions of how the organization shows interests in its employees' welfare, happiness, and health. The aims of this study were to determine whether (i) perceptions of HRP are related to the risk for disability retirement and (ii) HRP moderates the impact of psychological distress on later risk for disability retirement. Methods The study relied on a combination of self-report survey questionnaire data on HRP and psychological distress supplemented with official register data on disability benefits from the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration. The sample comprised 14 501 Norwegian employees from various occupations and industries. Results HRP was significantly associated with reduced risk of disability retirement [hazard ratio (HR) in bivariate analysis 0.84, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.77-0.93] and after adjusting for gender and educational level. However, HRP (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.87-1.07) was not associated with later risk for disability retirement after adjusting for psychological distress and did not moderate the association between psychological distress and disability retirement. Conclusions A positive impression of HRP may reduce the risk of disability retirement in general but not in cases following psychological distress. Upcoming research should identify other factors that may be more beneficial with regard to reducing the risk for disability retirement following distress.

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