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The Effects of Workplace Occupational Mental Health and Related Activities on Psychological Distress Among Workers: A Multilevel Cross-Sectional Analysis

Eguchi, Hisashi MD; Tsuda, Yoko BHSc; Tsukahara, Teruomi MD, DrMedSci; Washizuka, Shinsuke MD, PhD; Kawakami, Norito MD, DrMedSci; Nomiyama, Tetsuo MD, DrMedSci

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 8 - p 939–947
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825107bb
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the association of workplace occupational mental health (OMH) and related activities with psychological distress of workers in Japan.

Methods: A total of 121 workplaces and their 3540 workers were surveyed using questionnaires assessing selected workplace OMH activities, demographic characteristics, psychological distress, and psychosocial work environment of the workers. A multilevel analysis was conducted.

Results: Promotion of communication correlated significantly and negatively with psychological distress among workers after adjusting for the covariates (P < 0.01). Occupational mental health activities correlated marginally significantly and negatively with psychological distress (P = 0.06). Their moderating effect for the worker-level association between psychosocial work environment and psychological distress was not significant.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that promotion of communication in the workplace is associated with reduced psychological distress among workers. In addition, OMH activities may also be useful in reducing psychological distress.

From the Departments of Preventive medicine and Public Health (Drs Eguchi, Tsukahara, and Nomiyama, and Ms Tsuda) and Psychiatry (Dr Washizuka), Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan; and Department of Mental Health (Dr Kawakami), Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Address correspondence to: Hisashi Eguchi, MD, Department of Preventive medicine and Public Health, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan, 3-3-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan (

The authors declare no conflict of interest and source of funding.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine