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Occupational Hazard Exposures and Depressive Symptoms of Pregnant Workers

Yeh Sherri S. MD; Lee, Chien-Nan MD, MSc; Wu, Ying-Hsuan MSc; Tu, Nai-Chi BS; Guo, Yue-Leon MD, PhD; Chen, Pau-Chung MD, PhD; Chen, Chi-Hsien MD, PhD
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Post Acceptance: December 15, 2017
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001255
Original Article: PDF Only


To explore the prevalence of exposure to occupational hazards and depressive mood with associated underlying risk factors among pregnant workers.


Women at 12 weeks of gestation (n = 172) were recruited during regular prenatal screening. Data were obtained via questionnaires that explored job details and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.


The most commonly encountered hazard was prolonged standing. The majority of women reported that the workplace provided no information on the safety or rights of pregnant women, but those exposed to ≥4 hazards had more access to such services (p < 0.05). 13% may have suffered from depressive symptomatology. Higher-level work-related burnout, lower job control, and reduced workplace support were significantly associated with possible antenatal depressive symptoms.


Pregnant workers are exposed to substantial levels of occupational hazards and may experience depressive symptoms; thus, their work conditions require monitoring and improvement.

Address correspondence to: Dr. Chi-Hsien Chen, Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7, Chung-Shan S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10002, Taiwan (

Funding: This research project was supported by National Taiwan University Hospital and Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Ministry of Labor, Taiwan.

Conflicts of interest: None Declared.

Ethics approval and consent to participate: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Taiwan University Hospital.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine