Objective: To examine the relationship between job satisfaction, psychological distress, psychosocial processes and stress-related biological factors, and to evaluate whether over time changes of work satisfaction could affect the immunological-inflammatory status of workers. Methods: One hundred and one nurses were enrolled at the Clinic of Occupational Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy. Perceived job satisfaction, psychological distress, and social support were assessed every 4 mo over a 1-yr period using 4 self-reported questionnaires. T lymphocytes CD3, CD4+, CD8+, CD8+-CD57+, B lymphocyte CD19+, NK cells CD56+, and NK cell activity were determined. Results: Job satisfaction was associated with reduced psychological distress and was characterized by low cell numbers of CD8+ suppressor T cells, CD8+-CD57+ activated T cells, CD56+ NK cells and low IL-6 levels. Over time changes in psychological parameters were related to changes in the immunological-inflammatory variables. Subjects who increased their job satisfaction showed a reduced psychological stress associated with reduced number of CD8+-CD57+ activated T cells and inflammatory cytokines. Conclusions: Job (dis)satisfaction is related with psychological mechanisms in stress affecting cellular immune function.
2010 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health