To investigate the associations between psychosocial risk factors and self-reported health, taking into account other occupational risk factors.
Surveys were distributed to 3173 employees (1807 military and 1336 civilian), a total of 1728 employees completed surveys. Missing data prohibited the use of 26 surveys.
The authors used Karasek's model in order to identify psychosocial factors (psychological demands, decisional latitude, social support) in the workplace. The health indicator studied was self-reported health. Adjustments were made for covariates: age, gender, civil or military status, work injury, ergonomic score, physical and chemical exposures, and occupational profile. Occupational profile was defined by professional category, department, work schedule, supervisor status and service-related length in the hospital.
Job strain (defined as high psychological demands and low decisional latitude) (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.5 to 2.8, p<0.001) and iso-strain (job strain with low social support) were significantly associated with moderate or poor self-reported health. Among covariates, occupational profile (p<0.001) and an unsatisfactory ergonomic score (adjusted OR 2.3 95% CI 1.6 to 3.2, p<0.001) were also significantly associated with moderate or poor self-reported health.
The results support findings linking moderate or poor self-reported health to psychosocial risk factors. The results of this study suggest that workplace interventions that aim to reduce exposure to psychological demands as well as to increase decisional latitude and social support could help improve self-reported health.
One of the strong points is that this study simultaneously explore psychosocial risk factors and occupational risk factors.
The nature of the studied population and different response rates between civilian and military staff limit the generalisation of the results to healthcare workers in non-military settings.