Social environments, like neighbourhoods, are increasingly recognised as determinants of health. While several studies have reported an association of low neighbourhood socio-economic status with morbidity, mortality and health risk behaviour, little is known of the health effects of neighbourhood crime rates. Using the ongoing 10-Town study in Finland, we examined the relations of average household income and crime rate measured at the local area level, with smoking status and intensity by linking census data of local area characteristics from 181 postal zip codes to survey responses to smoking behaviour in a cohort of 23,008 municipal employees. Gender-stratified multilevel analyses adjusted for age and individual occupational status revealed an association between low local area income rate and current smoking. High local area crime rate was also associated with current smoking. Both local area characteristics were strongly associated with smoking intensity. Among ever-smokers, being an ex-smoker was less likely among residents in areas with low average household income and a high crime rate. In the fully adjusted model, the association between local area income and smoking behaviour among women was substantially explained by the area-level crime rate. This study extends our knowledge of potential pathways through which social environmental factors may affect health.
This study compared parental smoking with school personnel smoking in relation to adolescents' smoking behaviours, alcohol use, and illicit drug use.
A cross-sectional survey for 24,379 adolescents was linked to a survey for 1946 school employees in 136 Finnish schools in 2004-2005. Surveys included smoking prevalence reported by school staff, adolescents' reports of school staff and parental smoking, adolescents' own smoking behaviours, alcohol use, and illicit drug use. Multilevel analyses were adjusted for individual and school-level confounding factors.
Parental smoking was associated with all health risk behaviours among both sexes (risk range 1.39 to 1.95 for other outcomes; Odds Ratio OR for smoking cessation 0.64, 95% Confidence Interval CI: 0.57, 0.72 among boys, 0.72; 0.64, 0.81 among girls). Among boys, high vs. low smoking prevalence among school personnel was associated with higher probability of smoking (OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.01,1.41), higher frequency of smoking during school time (Cumulative Odds Ratio COR 1.81; 95% CI 1.32, 2.48), frequent alcohol use (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.01, 1.50), illicit drug use (OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.16, 1.69), and higher odds of reporting adults smoking at school (COR 1.51; 95% CI 1.09, 2.09). Among girls, high smoking prevalence among school personnel was related to higher odds of smoking (OR 1.18; 95% CI 1.02, 1.37) and lower odds of smoking cessation (OR 0.84; 95% CI 0.72, 0.99).
Parental smoking and school personnel smoking are both associated with adolescents' health risk behaviours but the association of parental smoking seems to be stronger.
Cites: Cent Eur J Public Health. 2002 Sep;10(3):79-8712298346
We investigated the relationship between implementation of workplace smoking cessation support activities and employee smoking cessation.
In 2 cohort studies, participants were 6179 Finnish public-sector employees who self-reported as smokers at baseline in 2004 (study 1) or 2008 (study 2) and responded to follow-up surveys in 2008 (study 1; n=3298; response rate = 71%) or 2010 (study 2; n=2881; response rate=83%). Supervisors' reports were used to assess workplace smoking cessation support activities. We conducted multilevel logistic regression analyses to examine changes in smoking status.
After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, number of cigarettes smoked per day, work unit size, shift work, type of job contract, health status, and health behaviors, baseline smokers whose supervisors reported that the employing agency had offered pharmacological treatments or financial incentives were more likely than those in workplaces that did not offer such support to have quit smoking. In general, associations were stronger among moderate or heavy smokers (= 10 cigarettes/day) than among light smokers (
To study participation in occupational and individual-focused interventions in relation to burnout.
We used data from a questionnaire, structured interview, national register of psychopharmacological prescriptions, and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview in a nationally representative Finnish sample of 3276 employees (30 to 64 years).
When compared with employees free of burnout, the odds ratio of severe burnout for participation in occupational interventions was 0.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.26 to 0.65) and in individual-focused interventions 5.36 (95% CI = 3.14 to 9.17). Antidepressant prescriptions were 2.53 (95% CI = 1.04 to 6.15) times more common among those with severe burnout than among those without burnout after adjustment for depressive and anxiety disorders.
Employees with burnout were less often targets of occupational interventions but participated more in individual-focused interventions when compared with other employees. The use of antidepressants among employees with severe burnout was not fully explained by coexisting depressive or anxiety disorders.
Organizational justice perceptions have been suggested to be associated with symptoms of mental health but the nature of the association is unknown due to reporting bias (measurement error related to response style and reversed causality). In this study, we used prospective design and long-term (>9 days) sickness absence with psychiatric diagnosis as the outcome measure. Participants were 21,221 Finnish public sector employees (the participation rate at baseline in 2000-2002 68%), who responded to repeated surveys of procedural and interactional justice in 2000-2004 along with register data on sickness absence with a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorders (822 cases). Results from logistic regression analyses showed that a one-unit increase in self-reported and work-unit level co-worker assessed interactional justice was associated with a 25-32% lower odds of sickness absence due to anxiety disorders. These associations were robust to adjustments for a variety of potential individual-level confounders including chronic disease (adjusted OR for self-reported interactional justice 0.77, 95% CI 0.65-0.91) and were replicated using co-worker assessed justice. Only weak evidence of reversed causality was found. The results suggest that low organizational justice is a risk factor for sickness absence due to anxiety disorders.
Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, 8 William Lee Buildings, Nottingham Science and Technology Park, University Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2RQ, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior studies on social capital and health have assessed social capital in residential neighbourhoods and communities, but the question whether the concept should also be applicable in workplaces has been raised. The present study reports on the psychometric properties of an 8-item measure of social capital at work.
Data were derived from the Finnish Public Sector Study (N = 48,592) collected in 2000-2002. Based on face validity, an expert unfamiliar with the data selected 8 questionnaire items from the available items for a scale of social capital. Reliability analysis included tests of internal consistency, item-total correlations, and within-unit (interrater) agreement by rwg index. The associations with theoretically related and unrelated constructs were examined to assess convergent and divergent validity (construct validity). Criterion-related validity was explored with respect to self-rated health using multilevel logistic regression models. The effects of individual level and work unit level social capital were modelled on self-rated health.
The internal consistency of the scale was good (Cronbach's alpha = 0.88). The rwg index was 0.88, which indicates a significant within-unit agreement. The scale was associated with, but not redundant to, conceptually close constructs such as procedural justice, job control, and effort-reward imbalance. Its associations with conceptually more distant concepts, such as trait anxiety and magnitude of change in work, were weaker. In multilevel models, significantly elevated age adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of poor self-rated health (OR = 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.24-2.61 for the women and OR = 2.99, 95% CI: 2.56-3.50 for the men) were observed for the employees in the lowest vs. highest quartile of individual level social capital. In addition, low social capital at the work unit level was associated with a higher likelihood of poor self-rated health.
Psychometric techniques show our 8-item measure of social capital to be a valid tool reflecting the construct and displaying the postulated links with other variables.
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