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Assessment of Psychological Distress Among Workers of a Confectionary Producer

Ghasemkhani, M

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000276434.77186.3a

Occupational Health Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran.


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Work-related stress and psychiatric distress might have a profound effect on an individual's well-being. The General Health Questionnaire is a widely used screening instrument. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders and its distribution by years of employment, marital status, etc in a company of the manufactures of chocolate in Iran.

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Material and Methods:

The study group consisted of 144 workers who were screened using the GHQ-28 in the Persian language version. Workers with a GHQ score of 6 or more were defined as having psychiatric distress. The SPSS-11.5 statistical software was also used for analyses. Multiple logistic regression was performed to assess the odds ratios (ORs) for psychiatric disorders, including years of employment and marital status of the GHQ.

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Based on the logistic regression analyses, the following conclusions can be drawn. (a) Single workers had a relative risk of psychiatric disorders of 1.6 compared with married workers. (b) The highest risk of psychiatric disorders was related to duration of employment >20 years (OR = 3.7; 95% CI = 1.2–11.3) and 11 to 20 years (OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.1–8.4) compared with duration of employment <10 years.

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Logistic regression analysis in the current study showed that duration of employment exhibit a statistically significant effect on any scores of GHQ-28. The reasons for this are unclear, but a lack of such correlation in years of employment might be due to the survey sample containing a considerably smaller number of group workers >20 years of employment (n = 38) compared with <10 years of employment (n = 46). The present study shows that relative risk of psychiatric disorders among the single is higher than that among the married (1.6 times). This may be an important factor maintaining the mental health of workers. The personality demographic of workers was a predisposing factor for stress, which may be taken into consideration when offering support and counseling.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.