Lifetime prevalence rates for any psychological disorder are higher than previously thought. Depression in the workplace may lower work productivity and increase maladjustment in daily professional life.
Aim of the study
The study aimed to investigate the prevalence of depression symptoms and the work-related risk factors in Egyptian working women.
Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study was carried out on 600 working women in family health facilities in Tala district, Menoufia governorate in 2015. Two questionnaires were used: one of them was an Arabic translated form of the questionnaire found in the Egyptian Practice Guidelines established by the Ministry of Health and population for family physicians to use in assessing the prevalence of depression symptoms. The second one was a predesigned questionnaire used to assess risk factors concerning demographic characteristics and the work environment related to depression symptoms.
The prevalence rate of depression symptoms among working women was 37.5%. Multiple logistic regression analyses reveal that the following work-related factors were associated with an increased likelihood of exhibiting positive depression symptoms: work-related activities continued during home time, such as telephone calls or messages [odds ratio (OR)=5.10; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.69–15.39], when work problems affect concentration and interactions with family (OR=148.67; 95% CI: 50.04–441.71), and difficulty with household chores (OR=6.63; 95% CI: 1.64–26.73). In addition, the following sociodemographic factors were significant: being divorced or widowed (OR=4.10; 95% CI: 2.28–7.36), no enough income (OR=2.59; 95% CI: 1.68–3.97), and rural residence (OR=1.74; 95% CI: 1.08–2.78).
Reported depression symptoms were high among working women in Menoufia. Both unfavorable employment conditions and background characteristics such as being divorced/widow, low income, and rural residence were factors determining depression symptoms. It is necessary to establish preventive strategies for female workers to control the negative effect of depression in the workplace.