Bullied workers have poor self-reported mental health; monetary costs of bullying exposure are unknown. We tested associations between bullying and health plan claims for mental health diagnoses.
We used data from 793 hospital workers who answered questions about bullying in a survey and subscribed to the group health plan. We used two-part models to test associations between types of incivility/bullying and mental health expenditures.
Workers experiencing incivility or bullying had greater odds of any mental health claims. Among claimants, unexposed workers spent $792, those experiencing one type of incivility or bullying spent $1557 (P for difference from unexposed = 0.016), those experiencing two types spent $928 (P = 0.503), and those experiencing three types spent $1446 (P = 0.040).
Workplace incivility and bullying may carry monetary costs to employers, which could be controlled through work environment modification.
Boston College School of Social Work, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (Dr Sabbath); University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas (Dr Williams); Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Boden); University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts (Dr Tempesti); Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Wagner); Partners HealthCare System, Inc. , Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Hopcia); Partners HealthCare System, Inc., Boston College Law School, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Hashimoto); Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Center for Community-based Research, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Sorensen); and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Sorensen).
Address correspondence to: Erika L. Sabbath, ScD, Boston College School of Social Work, McGuinn 202, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 7K01 OH010673 (PI: Sabbath) and 5U19 OH008861 (PI: Sorensen). The funders had no role in the design or analysis of data.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.