BACKGROUND: Many psychosocial models of wellbeing at work emphasise the role of intrinsic motivational factors such as job autonomy, job complexity, and innovativeness. However, little is known about whether the employees of multinational enterprises differ from country to country with regard to intrinsic motivational factors, and whether these factors are associated with wellbeing similarly in the different countries. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of intrinsic motivational factors and their impact on functional incapacity in different countries in a multinational corporation. METHODS: In 2000, data were collected from a globally operating corporation with a questionnaire survey. The participants were 13 795 employees (response rate 59%; 56% under age 45; 80% men; 61% blue collar employees), who worked in similar industrial occupations in five countries (Canada, China, Finland, France, and Sweden). RESULTS: The Chinese employees reported higher autonomy and lower complexity at work than the employees from the other countries. After adjustment for age, sex, socioeconomic status, and physical work environment, job autonomy, and job complexity at work were associated with functional incapacity in most countries, whereas in China the impact was significantly stronger. In Finland and in China employees with low innovativeness at work were more prone to functional incapacity than corresponding employees in other countries. CONCLUSIONS: The level of intrinsic motivational factors varied between the Chinese employees and those in other countries. In line with theoretical notions, the relation between intrinsic motivational factors of work and functional incapacity followed a similar pattern in the different countries. However, these country specific results show that a culture specific approach to employee wellbeing should also be applied.
Workers' motivation to actively take part in improvements to the work environment is assumed to be important for the efficiency of investments for that purpose. That gives rise to the need for a tool to measure this motivation.
A questionnaire to measure motivation for improvements to the work environment has been designed. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the domains of the questionnaire have been measured, and the factorial structure has been explored, from the answers of 113 employees.
The internal consistency is high (0.94), as well as the correlation for the total score (0.84). Three factors are identified accounting for 61.6% of the total variance.
The questionnaire can be a useful tool in improving intervention methods.
The expectation is that the tool can be useful, particularly with the aim of improving efficiency of companies' investments for work environment improvements.
Recent studies have indicated deteriorated working conditions of health care personnel. To have an efficient health care organization requires good working conditions and the well-being of the personnel. Today there are no "gold-standard" assessment tools measuring psychosocial working conditions. The aim of this study was to develop two valid and reliable questionnaires, one generic and one specific, measuring psychosocial working conditions for general practitioners (GPs) and district nurses (DNs) in Sweden, with a special emphasis on organizational changes. The construction of the questionnaires were made after a stepwise developing phase including literature review, interviews, and a pilot study. The pilot study included GPs n = 42 and DNs n = 39. The questionnaires were later on used in a main study (GPs n = 465, DNs n = 465). A factor analysis was carried out and showed that there were fewer items in the main study that had factor loading > or = 0.40 in more than one factor, compared to the pilot study. The factors from the main study were easier to label and had good correspondence with other studies. After this stepwise development phase good construct validity and internal consistency were established for the questionnaire.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether psychosocial stress defined as high strain based on the job demand-control model increases risk for atrial fibrillation.
The present study comprised 6035 men born between 1915 and 1925 and free from previous coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation and stroke at baseline (1974-1977). Work-related psychosocial stress was measured using a job-exposure matrix for the job demand-control model based on occupation at baseline. The participants were followed from baseline examination until death, hospital discharge or 75 years of age, using the Swedish national register on cause of death and the Swedish hospital discharge register for any registration for atrial fibrillation, resulting in the identification of 436 cases. Data were analysed with Cox regression models with atrial fibrillation as the outcome using high strain as the explanatory variable adjusted for age, smoking, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes and socioeconomic status.
There was an increased risk for atrial fibrillation in relation to high strain (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.003 to 1.75). When the four categories of the job-strain model were included and low strain was used as reference, the risk for high strain decreased (HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.82).
Exposure to occupational psychosocial stress defined as high strain may be associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation. The observed increase in risk is small and residual confounding may also be present.
Cites: Int J Cardiol. 2013 Dec 5;170(1):75-8024383072
Cites: Eur Heart J. 2013 Dec;34(47):3624-3123756332
AIMS: To analyse the association between sickness absence and sex segregation of occupation and of work site, respectively, and to analyse work environmental factors associated with high sickness absence. METHODS: The study group consisted of 1075 women employed as nurses, assistant nurses, medical secretaries, or metal workers who answered a questionnaire comprising 218 questions on women's health and living conditions. Sickness absence was collected from employers' and social insurance registers. RESULTS: Women working in the male dominated occupation had in general higher sickness absence compared to those working in female dominated occupations. However, metal workers at female dominated work sites had 2.98 (95% CI 2.17 to 3.79) sick-leave spells per woman and year compared to 1.70 (95% CI 1.29 to 2.10) among those working with almost only men. In spite of a better physical work environment, female metal workers at a female dominated work site had a higher sickness absence than other women, which probably could be explained by the worse psychosocial work environment. Working with more women also had a positive association to increased frequency of sick-leave spells in a multivariate analysis including several known indicators of increased sick-leave. CONCLUSIONS: There was an association between sickness absence and sex segregation, in different directions at the occupational and work site level. The mechanism behind this needs to be more closely understood regarding selection in and out of an occupation and a certain work site.
AIM: The aim of this study was to analyse the association between strain in domestic work and self-rated health among employed women in Sweden, using two different methods of measuring strain in domestic work. METHODS: Questionnaire data were collected on health and living conditions in paid and unpaid work for employed women (n=1,417), aged 17-64 years. "Domestic job strain'' was an application of the demand-control model developed by Karasek and Theorell, and "Domestic work equity and marital satisfaction'' was measured by questions on the division of and responsibility for domestic work and relationship with spouse/cohabiter. Self-rated health was measured using the SF-36 Health Survey. Associations were analysed by bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses, and reported as standardized regression coefficients. RESULTS: Higher strain in domestic work was associated with lower self-rated health, also after controlling for potential confounders and according to both strain measures. "Domestic work equity and marital satisfaction'' showed for example negative associations with mental health beta -0.211 (p
People spend a considerable amount of time at work over the course of their lives, which makes the workplace important to health and aging. However, little is known about the potential long-term effects of work-related stress on late-life health. This study aims to examine work-related stress in late midlife and educational attainment in relation to serious health problems in old age.
Data from nationally representative Swedish surveys were used in the analyses (n = 1,502). Follow-up time was 20-24 years. Logistic regressions were used to examine work-related stress (self-reported job demands, job control, and job strain) in relation to serious health problems measured as none, serious problems in one health domain, and serious problems in two or three health domains (complex health problems).
While not all results were statistically significant, high job demands were associated with higher odds of serious health problems among women but lower odds of serious health problems among men. Job control was negatively associated with serious health problems. The strongest association in this study was between high job strain and complex health problems. After adjustment for educational attainment some of the associations became statistically nonsignificant. However, high job demands, remained related to lower odds of serious problems in one health domain among men, and low job control remained associated with higher odds of complex health problems among men. High job demands were associated with lower odds of complex health problems among men with low education, but not among men with high education, or among women regardless of level of education.
The results underscore the importance of work-related stress for long-term health. Modification to work environment to reduce work stress (e.g., providing opportunities for self-direction/monitoring levels of psychological job demands) may serve as a springboard for the development of preventive strategies to improve public health both before and after retirement.
To investigate the complexities of the retirement process, the present article draws on a case study of Eva, a Swedish woman who "awakened" from all-absorbing relations. It considers the ways in which retirement can enable liberation from patriarchal kinship structures and embodied values of respectability. The aim is to illuminate how deep, embodied values can become conscious and explicit during precarious life situations and transitional phases. The relation between the Swedish welfare state, an I-we balance, and gender equity values are illuminated. These analytical dimensions support the analysis by providing insights into the ways in which individuals embody and use cultural and social structures when they aim to manage unpredictability and to create change toward self-actualization.
The need to combine active employment and parenthood is a reality for many parents today. Knowing more about which work place factors are associated with better or worse health could help employers to form a work environment that provides optimal conditions to maintain or increase health and work engagement in this group. The aim of this study was to explore possible associations between different subjective and objective work factors and benefits, and a range of outcome variables such as stress, symptom report, wellbeing, work-related fatigue, work engagement, and work-family conflict among working mothers and fathers with small children.
Cross-sectional analyses of associations between work place factors categorised into three different dimensions; flexibility, benefits, and attitude and the outcome measures were performed, including questionnaire responses from 1562 working parents.
The results showed that work place factors related to flexibility and, especially among women, attitude to parenthood appear to have the strongest effect on working parents' subjective stress and wellbeing, while benefits appear to have less impact. Except regarding factors related to attitudes at the work place, most associations were similar among men and women.
Most likely, different factors are better suited or more important for some individuals than others depending on their total work, as well as family situation and also depending on individual factors such as personality and priorities. A positive attitude towards parenthood and a flexible work situation seem, however, beneficial for the general wellbeing and work engagement among working parents.