We aimed to investigate how mental distress was associated with pain and injuries in a convenience sample of construction workers.
A cross-sectional, mental health assessment was conducted in a convenience sample of construction workers (N = 172). A subsample participated in a clinical interview (n = 10). We used a cutoff (1.50 or greater) on Hopkins Symptom Checklist–25 to determine substantial mental distress and determined associations with pain and injury outcomes.
The prevalence of substantial mental distress was 16% in the workers. This was supported by follow-up clinical interviews where 9 of 10 workers fulfilled the criteria for a mental disorder. Substantial mental distress was associated with both injury rate and self-reported pain.
This pilot study strongly suggests the need for rigorous studies on construction worker mental health and how it affects their work and well-being.