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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31811eadd3
Original Articles

Mental Health Effects of Changes in Psychosocial Work Characteristics: A Prospective Cohort Study

De Raeve, Lore MSc; Vasse, Rineke M. PhD; Jansen, Nicole W.H. PhD; van den Brandt, Piet A. PhD; Kant, IJmert PhD

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Abstract

Objective: To explore a possible causal relationship between psychosocial work characteristics and mental health.

Methods: Using longitudinal data from the Maastricht Cohort Study on “Fatigue at Work” (n = 2332), the effects of changes in job demands and decision latitude on subsequent changes in need for recovery and prolonged fatigue were studied.

Results: Increasing job demands are a significant predictor of a subsequent increase in need for recovery (β = 0.063) and prolonged fatigue (β = 0.057). An increase in decision latitude predicted a subsequent decrease in need for recovery (β = −0.078) and prolonged fatigue (β = −0.063). After adjusting for changes in other work characteristics, the effects on changes in prolonged fatigue were no longer significant.

Conclusion: These findings support a possible causal relationship between work characteristics and mental health and can be used for designing effective prevention and intervention strategies.

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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