Exposure to deadlines at work is increasing in several countries and may affect health. We aimed to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between frequency of difficult deadlines at work and sleep quality.
Study participants were knowledge workers, drawn from a representative sample of Danish employees who responded to a baseline questionnaire in 2006 (n = 363) and a follow-up questionnaire in 2007 (n = 302). Frequency of difficult deadlines was measured by self-report and categorized into low, intermediate, and high. Sleep quality was measured with a Total Sleep Quality Score and two indexes (Awakening Index and Disturbed Sleep Index) derived from the Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire. Analyses on the association between frequency of deadlines and sleep quality scores were conducted with multiple linear regression models, adjusted for potential confounders. In addition, we used multiple logistic regression models to analyze whether frequency of deadlines at baseline predicted caseness of sleep problems at follow-up among participants free of sleep problems at baseline.
Frequent deadlines were cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with poorer sleep quality on all three sleep quality measures. Associations in the longitudinal analyses were greatly attenuated when we adjusted for baseline sleep quality. The logistic regression analyses showed that frequent deadlines at baseline were associated with elevated odds ratios for caseness of sleep problems at follow-up, however, confidence intervals were wide in these analyses.
Frequent deadlines at work were associated with poorer sleep quality among Danish knowledge workers. We recommend investigating the relation between deadlines and health endpoints in large-scale epidemiologic studies.
This paper is a report of a study, which examines the moderating effect of collective efficacy on the associations between physical workload, intention to leave and sickness absence.
The positive association between physical workload and both intention to leave and sickness absence in the healthcare sector is well-established. However, knowledge is limited with respect to how social contextual factors such as collective efficacy moderate these associations.
A questionnaire was distributed over a 4-month period in 2006/2007 to all employees at elderly care centres in 35 Danish municipalities who were asked to rate their groups' collective efficacy. The final sample consisted of 6929 female employees from 290 work groups. Employees were predominantly healthcare helpers and assistants, but also nurses and other healthcare professionals participated in the study. Information on collective efficacy was aggregated to work group level.
Collective efficacy moderated the association between physical workload and intention to leave, i.e. employees with high levels of physical workload had lower intention to leave if they worked in a group with high levels of collective efficacy and higher intention to leave if they worked in a group with low levels of collective efficacy. No moderating effect of collective efficacy on the association between physical workload and sickness absence was found.
Our findings suggest that enhancing the sense of collective efficacy might be a mean for organizations and managers to reduce intention to leave, but further research is needed.
Health care workers have a high prevalence of sickness absence because of low back pain (LBP). This study examined whether fear-avoidance beliefs (FAB): 1) predicted sickness absence and 2) moderated the association between LBP and sickness absence among 1724 newly educated health care workers with LBP >or= day during the previous 12 months. High FAB was associated with sickness absence days 1 year later (relative risk, 1.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.24 to 1.70), controlled for LBP, previous sickness absence, and age. When controlling for work environmental factors, the association remained significant but decreased. Furthermore, the results showed that health care workers with high degree of LBP would have more sickness absence days if they also had high FAB. To reduce sickness absence, education about pain management must be presumed to be beneficial.
The eldercare sector in Denmark as in many industrialised countries is characterised by difficulties in retaining labour. Research suggests a possible imbalance between lifestyle and health among eldercare trainees and the demanding work encountered as eldercare employees. The aim of the present study was to determine the predictive effect of lifestyle and self-rated health on dropout from the Danish eldercare sector two years after qualification.
We included 4,526 female eldercare trainees in the analyses of lifestyle parameters and 5,023 in the analyses of self-rated health. The participants in this prospective study were recruited from 27 of the 28 Danish colleges for eldercare. We linked survey data with national register data to obtain information about labour market attachment two years after qualification.
The results of the present study showed that the poorer self-rated health, the higher the risk for dropout from the labour market (p
Interpersonal relations at work as well as individual factors seem to play prominent roles in the modern labour market, and arguably also for the change in stress symptoms. The aim was to examine whether exposures in the psychosocial work environment predicted symptoms of cognitive stress in a sample of Danish knowledge workers (i.e. employees working with sign, communication or exchange of knowledge) and whether performance-based self-esteem had a main effect, over and above the work environmental factors.
349 knowledge workers, selected from a national, representative cohort study, were followed up with two data collections, 12 months apart. We used data on psychosocial work environment factors and cognitive stress symptoms measured with the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), and a measurement of performance-based self-esteem. Effects on cognitive stress symptoms were analyzed with a GLM procedure with and without adjustment for baseline level.
Measures at baseline of quantitative demands, role conflicts, lack of role clarity, recognition, predictability, influence and social support from management were positively associated with cognitive stress symptoms 12 months later. After adjustment for baseline level of cognitive stress symptoms, follow-up level was only predicted by lack of predictability. Performance-based self-esteem was prospectively associated with cognitive stress symptoms and had an independent effect above the psychosocial work environment factors on the level of and changes in cognitive stress symptoms.
The results suggest that both work environmental and individual characteristics should be taken into account in order to capture sources of stress in modern working life.
This study aimed to investigate the possibility of a prospective association between long working hours and use of psychotropic medicine.
Survey data drawn from random samples of the general working population of Denmark in the time period 1995-2010 were linked to national registers covering all inhabitants. The participants were followed for first occurrence of redeemed prescriptions for psychotropic medicine. The primary analysis included 25,959 observations (19,259 persons) and yielded a total of 2914 new cases of psychotropic drug use in 99,018 person-years at risk. Poisson regression was used to model incidence rates of redeemed prescriptions for psychotropic medicine as a function of working hours (32-40, 41-48, >48 hours/week). The analysis was controlled for gender, age, sample, shift work, and socioeconomic status. A likelihood ratio test was used to test the null hypothesis, which stated that the incidence rates were independent of weekly working hours.
The likelihood ratio test did not reject the null hypothesis (P=0.085). The rate ratio (RR) was 1.04 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.94-1.15] for the contrast 41-48 versus 32-40 work hours/week and 1.15 (95% CI 1.02-1.30) for >48 versus 32-40 hours/week. None of the rate ratios that were estimated in the present study were statistically significant after adjustment for multiple testing. However, stratified analyses, in which 30 RR were estimated, generated the hypothesis that overtime work (>48 hours/week) might be associated with an increased risk among night or shift workers (RR=1.51, 95% CI 1.15-1.98).
The present study did not find a statistically significant association between long working hours and incidence of psychotropic drug usage among Danish employees.
AIMS: The authors set out to estimate effects of occupational factors on smoking cessation among Danish employees. METHODS: Data from 3,606 observations of smokers gathered from the Danish National Work Environment Cohort Study in 1990, 1995, and 2000 were analysed by logistic regression. The model comprised background variables, smoking variables, and measures of psychosocial and other aspects of the work environment. RESULTS: Statistically significant odds ratios (OR) for cessation were found for medium versus no exposure to noise (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.54-0.93), for high versus low physical workload (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.47-0.73), for high versus low psychological demands (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.12-1.80), and for medium versus low levels of responsibility at work (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03-1.65). CONCLUSION: The probability of smoking cessation differs between people with different exposures to certain work environmental factors.