Can a poor psychosocial work environment and insufficient organizational resources explain the higher risk of ill-health and sickness absence in human service occupations? Evidence from a Swedish national cohort

Published on 2018-11-29T12:00:00Z (GMT) by
<div><p><i>Aim</i>: The aim of this study was to investigate differences in burnout, self-rated health (SRH) and sickness absence between human service occupations (HSOs) and other occupations, and whether they can be attributed to differences in psychosocial work environment and organizational resources. <i>Methods</i>: Data were derived from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, an approximately representative sample of the Swedish working population (<i>n</i> = 4408). Employment in HSOs, psychosocial work environment and organizational resources in 2012 predicted relative risks of sickness absence, burnout and suboptimal SRH in 2014 using modified Poisson regressions. The psychosocial work factors’ and organizational resource variables’ relative importance were estimated by adding them to the models one by one, and with population attributable fractions (PAFs). <i>Results</i>: Employment in HSOs was associated with a higher risk of sickness absence and the risk was explained by psychosocial and organizational factors, particularly high emotional demands, low work-time control and exposure to workplace violence. Employment in HSOs was not associated with burnout after sociodemographic factors were adjusted for, and furthermore not with SRH. A lower risk of suboptimal SRH was found in HSOs than in other occupations with equivalent psychosocial work environment and organizational resources. PAFs indicated that psychosocial work environment and organizational resource improvements could lead to morbidity reductions for all outcomes; emotional demands were more important in HSOs. <i>Conclusions</i>: <b>HSOs had higher risks of sickness absence and burnout than other occupations. The most important work factors to address were high emotional demands, low work-time control, and exposure to workplace violence.</b></p></div>

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Aronsson, Vanda; Toivanen, Susanna; Leineweber, Constanze; Nyberg, Anna (2018): Can a poor psychosocial work environment and insufficient organizational resources explain the higher risk of ill-health and sickness absence in human service occupations? Evidence from a Swedish national cohort. SAGE Journals. Collection.