Socioeconomic inequalities in health in the working population: the contribution of working conditions.
BACKGROUND: The aim was to study the impact of different categories of working conditions on the association between occupational class and self-reported health in the working population. METHODS: Data were collected through a postal survey conducted in 1991 among inhabitants of 18 municipalities in the southeastern Netherlands. Data concerned 4521 working men and 2411 working women and included current occupational class (seven classes), working conditions (physical working conditions, job control, job demands, social support at work), perceived general health (very good or good versus less than good) and demographic confounders. Data were analysed with logistic regression techniques. RESULTS: For both men and women we observed a higher odds ratio for a less than good perceived general health in the lower occupational classes (adjusted for confounders). The odds of a less than good perceived general health was larger among people reporting more hazardous physical working conditions, lower job control, lower social support at work and among those in the highest category of job demands. Results were similar for men and women. Men and women in the lower occupational classes reported more hazardous physical working conditions and lower job control as compared to those in higher occupational classes. High job demands were more often reported in the higher occupational classes, while social support at work was not clearly related to occupational class. When physical working conditions and job control were added simultaneously to a model with occupational class and confounders, the odds ratios for occupational classes were reduced substantially. For men, the per cent change in the odds ratios for the occupational classes ranged between 35% and 83%, and for women between 35% and 46%. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial part of the association between occupational class and a less than good perceived general health in the working population could be attributed to a differential distribution of hazardous physical working conditions and a low job control across occupational classes. This suggests that interventions aimed at improving these working conditions might result in a reduction of socioeconomic inequalities in health in the working population. (+info)
Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates.
OBJECTIVES: This study hypothesized that interpersonal workplace stressors involving sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse are highly prevalent and significantly linked with mental health outcomes including symptomatic distress, the use and abuse of alcohol, and other drug use. METHODS: Employees in 4 university occupational groups (faculty, student, clerical, and service workers; n = 2492) were surveyed by means of a mailed self-report instrument. Cross-tabular and ordinary least squares and logistic regression analyses examined the prevalence of harassment and abuse and their association with mental health status. RESULTS: The data show high rates of harassment and abuse. Among faculty, females were subjected to higher rates; among clerical and service workers, males were subjected to higher rates. Male and female clerical and service workers experienced higher levels of particularly severe mistreatment. Generalized abuse was more prevalent than harassment for all groups. Both harassment and abuse were significantly linked to most mental health outcomes for men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Interpersonally abusive workplace dynamics constitute a significant public health problem that merits increased intervention and prevention strategies. (+info)
A worksite smoking intervention: a 2 year assessment of groups, incentives and self-help.
Sixty-three companies in the Chicago area were recruited to participate in a worksite smoking cessation program. Participants in each worksite received a television program and newspaper supplement (part of a community-wide media campaign), and one of three conditions: (1) self-help manuals alone (M), (2) self-help manuals and incentives for 6 months (IM) or (3) maintenance manuals, incentives and cognitive-behavioral support groups for 6 months (GIM). Results at the 2 year assessment are examined using a random-effects regression model. In addition, various definitions of quit-rate commonly used in smoking cessation research are explored and the advantages of using a public health approach in the worksite are examined. (+info)
Impact of the work environment on glycemic control and adaptation to diabetes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate quantitatively whether the work environments of adults with diabetes relate to the adequacy of metabolic control and/or to the individual's adaptation to diabetes and to explore qualitatively the interactions between an individual's life at work and ways of coping with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 129 insulin-requiring adults who were employed outside of the home were assessed on a single occasion. They completed two work system measures (The Work Environment Scale and The Work Apgar Scale) and two quality-of-life measures (The Diabetes Quality of Life Scale and The Appraisal of Diabetes Scale). Subjects also participated in a semi-structured interview concerning the interaction of work and diabetes. Glycemic control was assessed by using HbAlc results. Demographic data (age, sex, diabetes type, duration of diabetes, number of diabetes-related medical complications) were gathered from the charts. RESULTS: Concerning glycemic control, neither of the work system measures was a significant predictor of HbAlc. Concerning psychosocial adaptation, supervisor support was found to be a significant predictor of positive appraisal and diabetes-related satisfaction. Involvement and coworker cohesion also predicted aspects of diabetes-related quality of life. Interview themes showed that for a minority (18%), diabetes affected choice of work and that for a majority (60%), diabetes affected relationships at work and raised financial/job concerns (49%). Most adjust their diet, blood glucose testing, and exercise regimen through work-related modifications. CONCLUSIONS: For insulin-treated adults with diabetes, work system variables do not directly relate to glycemic control, but they do relate to psychosocial adaptation. Future work should examine further the specific aspects of the workplace that might affect adaptation, with the goal being to develop worksite interventions that target not only the employee with diabetes but also their supervisors and coworkers. (+info)
Practice and education of nurse anaesthetists.
A survey was conducted of the anaesthesia services provided by nurses and the education available to them in this field in 107 countries. Among the procedures carried out were general anaesthesia, spinal blocks and tracheal intubation. The implications of the findings for health planning and policy-making are discussed with particular reference to workforce structure and women's involvement in it. (+info)
Ergonomic strategies for improving working conditions in some developing countries in Asia.
Ergonomic action is growing in Asia in response to increasing local needs. Recent studies in some developing countries in Asia commonly developed and applied widely-applicable measures for assessing local needs in field conditions including small enterprises and agriculture. For this purpose, carefully examining the actual workplace conditions of the local people was essential. Consequently, a number of field studies could contributed to improving the working conditions of the local people in materials handling, workstation design, work organization and work environment by using available local resources. Building on local capacity and practice, action-oriented ergonomics training has also been developing and spreading into many workplaces. Various non-expert human resources including local government units, trade unions, industrial associations and the agricultural sectors have been mobilized to act as participatory trainers in the action-oriented ergonomic training programmes. Training tools such as action checklists, good local examples and group work dynamics have been developed and applied to such training activities. Learning from local achievements and focusing on locally available resources, ergonomists have facilitated these local action processes by developing action-oriented training tools and training local trainers. It was confirmed that a number of ergonomic improvements could be formulated by the self-help initiative of the local people when participatory action tools and training were provided. Developing flexible and dynamic ergonomic research and training methods to meet the diversifying needs of the local people will continuously be important. Ergonomists' efforts to cover the wider population and workplaces need to be strengthened and accelerated. (+info)
Process mapping in screening mammography.
Successful screening mammography programs aim to screen large numbers of women efficiently and inexpensively. Development of an effective screening mammography program requires skilled personnel, solid infrastructure, and a robust computer system. A group of physicians, technologists, computer support personnel, and administrators carefully analyzed a growing screening mammography program as a series of steps, starting with the request for the examination and ending with the receipt of a hard-copy consultation. The analysis involved a detailed examination of every step and every possible outcome in the screening process. The information gained through process mapping may be used for identification of systemic and personnel problems, allocation of resources, modification of workplace architecture, and design of computer networks. Process mapping is helpful for those involved in designing and improving screening mammography programs. Viewing a process (i.e., obtaining a screening mammogram) as a series of steps may allow for the identification of inefficient components that may limit growth. (+info)
Worksite and family education for dietary change: the Treatwell 5-a-Day program.
The National Cancer Institute's '5-a-Day for Better Health Campaign is examining the efficacy of interventions in increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables to five or more servings a day. This paper presents the study design, intervention and baseline survey results of the Treatwell 5-a-Day project, a randomized, controlled worksite-based intervention study. Twenty-two community health centers were randomly assigned to either a Minimal Intervention, Worksite Intervention or Worksite Plus Family Intervention. The Worksite Intervention included participation of employee advisory boards, programs aimed at individual behavior change and programs aimed at changes in the worksite environment. The Worksite Plus Family Intervention incorporated family-focused interventions into the worksite program, including a learn-at-home program, family newsletter, family festival and materials mailings. A self-administered survey was conducted prior to randomization (mean response rate: 87%, n = 1359). Twenty-three percent reported consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Consumption of fruits and vegetables was directly associated with level of household support for healthy eating. The Treatwell 5-a-Day intervention model has the potential to enhance existing worksite-based intervention through incorporation of its family focus, especially given the association of household support with individual eating habits. (+info)