Association of chronic work stress, psychiatric disorders, and chronic physical conditions with disability among workers

Carolyn S Dewa, Elizabeth Lin, Mieke Kooehoorn, Elliot Goldner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: There appear to be links between psychiatric disorders and work-related stress as well as between psychiatric disorders and physical conditions. This study explores the relationships between chronic work stress, psychiatric disorders, and chronic physical conditions and disability among workers. By doing so, this study sought to understand how these factors are associated with worker disability when they are experienced alone versus in combination with one another. Methods: The study population was drawn from the Canadian Community Health Survey 1.2, a national population-based survey that gathered cross-sectional data on health status from 22,118 working respondents. The relationship between chronic work stress, chronic physical conditions, and psychiatric disorders and disability in the past 14 days was examined for working respondents by using logistic regressions controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, region, and occupation. Results: Thirty-one percent of respondents experienced chronic work stress either alone or in combination with a chronic physical condition, a psychiatric disorder, or both. Forty-six percent reported at least one chronic physical condition either alone or in combination. Finally, 11% had a psychiatric disorder. Compared with the group with none of the factors, those with an increasing number of combined conditions had increasing odds of disability after the analysis controlled for sociodemographic characteristics, occupation, and region. Conclusions: The presence of chronic work stress seems to amplify effects of psychiatric disorders and chronic physical conditions on disability. In addition, psychiatric disorders co-occurring with physical illness seem to be associated with significantly higher odds of disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-658
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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