Objectives: The prevalence of work-related low back pain (LBP) is high among care workers and can negatively affect quality of work life (QWL). To improve workplace satisfaction, this study aimed to identify factors influencing QWL among seniors' care workers with severe LBP.
Methods: A questionnaire survey including items on demographics, qualifications, basic job responsibilities, job stressors, LBP severity, QWL, and job satisfaction was conducted in 2018. In total, 1000 senior care facilities were selected via random sampling and eight care workers per institution were asked to complete the survey. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent factors influencing QWL of care workers with and without severe LBP.
Results: Data from 1247 care workers with severe LBP and 2009 with nonsevere LBP were included in the analysis. Overall QWL was lower in the severe LBP group than in the nonsevere LBP group. In both groups, human relationships, workplace support, discretionary responsibility level, and working hours or time off were identified as common factors influencing QWL. In the severe LBP group, the salary was also a significant influence on QWL, while in the nonsevere LBP group, the number of workers, promotion or official position, and caregiving technique were identified as significant QWL factors.
Conclusions: The QWL of care workers with severe LBP was strongly influenced by salary. Since care workers suffering from severe LBP are working for a salary while enduring the pain and do not have found a worth doing, they need to prevent LBP and get job satisfaction and self-progress.
Objective: Previous research has documented a positive effect of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) on life satisfaction. The relationship between physical activity and the specific domain of job satisfaction is, however, relatively unknown. This study aims to investigate the effects of different frequency levels of LTPA on self-reported job satisfaction and specifically focuses on the two mechanisms of health and recovery from work stress.
Methods: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (2001-2019), fixed effects and dynamic panel data regression models are estimated to address the problems of unobserved heterogeneity and reverse causality. A mediation and sub-sample analysis shed light on the role of health and work stress.
Results: The results reveal that weekly LTPA has a positive effect on job satisfaction and that health represents a channel yielding those benefits. The effect appears to be moderated by work stress. Further, the analysis reveals the importance of considering unobserved heterogeneity and reverse causality when studying this relationship.
Conclusion: The findings indicate a positive relationship between regular LTPA and job satisfaction and add plausible causal evidence to the limited literature in this context. The findings yield implications for employers and employees.
Objectives: Against the background of e-government, it is discussed whether self-organization represents an independent component of digital leadership. Addressing this research question, the instrument “DigiFuehr” is being expanded to include the aspects of self-determination and coordination. The aim is to test the model quality of three adapted scales against the already established support-focusing version.
Methods: Based on an online survey of n = 422 employees at visual display unit workstations in German municipal administrations in April 2022, the original version of DigiFuehr as well as one reduced and two extended versions were validated considering their local and global model fit.
Results: All four scales show a good local fit with regard to internal consistency (Cronbach's α), discriminatory power, and dimensionality. Only the scale extended by two items also offers a sufficient global fit and is thus most suitable as a predictor for psychological stress, work satisfaction, and satisfaction with the professional exchange during homeworking.
Conclusions: With “DigiFuehr 2.0”, an improved version of the original scale is available. Self-organization is not a component independent of the support dimension, but a further important indicator of a latent digital leadership culture. Neither should come at the expense of the other.
Objectives: We aimed to explore the relationship between objective cognitive functioning and work performance among Japanese workers.
Methods: From February to November 2019, this cross-sectional study enrolled workers aged 18-65 years from 10 companies located in a metropolitan area of Japan. We emailed invitations to participate to employees of companies that had agreed to cooperate with the study. We measured work performance with the question, “How would you rate your performance (compared with your optimum performance) over the past 4 weeks?” Responses were made via a visual analog scale (range: 0-100). Cognitive functioning was assessed using the THINC-integrated tool (THINC-it®). THINC-it® is a brief, objective computerized cognitive assessment battery. Associations between work performance and cognitive functioning tests were examined using logistic regression analysis.
Results: In total, 353 individuals provided e-consent to participate, of whom 276 were included in the analysis (after omitting those with missing values). The median work performance was used to divide participants into high- (scoring ≥ 80%) and low- (scoring < 80%) performing groups. The P-values for trends indicated that association between cognitive domains, such as attention, executive functioning and working memory was significant (P < .05). Work performance was significantly associated with cognitive function for the two tests that assess attention, executive functioning, and working memory in general workers.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that objective cognitive functioning may be related to work performance. Longitudinal investigations may allow for the establishment of causality.
Objective: This study examined the association between maternal occupational status and adverse pregnancy outcomes in the general South Korean population.
Methods: We analyzed 1 825 845 employed and non-employed women with a diagnostic code for pregnancy in the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database (2010-2019) of South Korea. Based on their employment status and type of occupation, we calculated risk ratios for three adverse outcomes: early abortive outcomes (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and molar pregnancy), stillbirth, and no live birth (diagnosis of pregnancy with no record of live birth thereafter, which include early abortive outcomes and stillbirth) with adjusting for covariates.
Results: Overall, 18.0%, 0.7%, and 39.8% ended in early abortive outcomes, stillbirths, and no live births, respectively. The risk of early abortive outcomes and stillbirths was higher in non-employed women than in employed women, while no live births were more frequent in employed women. Those in the health and social work industry showed the highest risk of no live births. Manufacturing jobs (1.030, 95% CI: 1.013, 1.047) and health/social work (1.029, 95% CI: 1.012, 1.046) were associated with an increased risk of early abortive outcomes compared with financial and insurance jobs. Consistently higher risks of no live births were observed in the manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, education, health/social work, and public/social/personal service occupation.
Conclusion: Employment during pregnancy and several occupation types were associated with a higher risk of pregnancy loss. Additional research using detailed job activity data is needed to determine specific occupational causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Objective: To identify associations between specific types of mental illness (occurring alone or in combination with other mental illness) and (specific and all types) of injury.
Methods: Analyses involve 21 027 employees aged 18-64 insured by Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrator (DMBA), 2020. Nine classifications of mental illness and 12 classifications of injury are considered. Rate ratios are adjusted for age, sex, and marital status.
Results: The rate of injuries is 13.6%. A positive association exists between any mental illness and injury (rate ratio [RR] = 1.74, 95% CI 1.62-1.87). The positive association is consistent across all types of injury, except burns. While having a mental illness tends to positively associate with having an injury (vs. none), it more strongly associates with having two or more types of injury (vs. none). Injury rates are significantly greater when comorbid mental illness is involved (vs. one type of mental illness), more so for multiple types of injuries. Specifically, there is a positive association between having a mental illness (vs. none) and a single type of injury (vs. none) (RR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.42-1.75) or two or more types of injuries (vs. none) (RR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.70-2.23). Corresponding estimates where comorbid mental illnesses exist (vs. none) are (RR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.70-2.51) and (RR = 3.32, 95% CI 2.64-4.17), respectively. The most common combinations of mental illness that positively associate with injury tend to involve comorbid mental illness.
Conclusions: Several types of mental illness positively associate with injury and are more strongly associated when there is comorbid mental illness.
Participatory organizational interventions offer an effective way to promote occupational safety and health. Despite an increasing number of studies, a common definition of participatory organizational interventions has yet to be established. Therefore, we aimed to form a definition using the following process. First, we developed a tentative draft definition of organizational interventions and participatory elements, based on the relevant literature. The tentative definition was revised in several rounds of an extensive discussion by the authors. This resulted in the draft definition. We asked 15 selected international experts in occupational safety and health to review and comment on the draft definition. We carefully reviewed their comments, and formulated our final proposed definition. To summarize the key points of the final version of the definition, organizational interventions are planned actions that primarily directly target working conditions with the aim of promoting and maintaining of the highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being of workers in all occupations. In addition, as participatory elements of organizational interventions in the final definition, ideally, all workers participate in every step of the intervention, while participating in part of the steps of the intervention in some cases. Furthermore, in principle, all workers participate in each step of intervention, while it is also acceptable that only elected representatives among workers participate in the intervention.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the carcinogenicity of 2-bromopropane (2-BP) in rats.
Methods: Male and female F344 rats were exposed by whole body inhalation to 2-BP vapor at concentrations of 0, 67, 200, and 600 ppm for 6 h/day, 5 days/week for 2 years.
Results: All rats of both sexes exposed to 600 ppm died or became moribund within 85 weeks. Death/moribundity was caused by 2-BP induced tumors. In males, significantly increased tumors were malignant Zymbal's gland tumors; sebaceous adenoma and basal cell carcinoma of the skin/appendage; adenocarcinoma of the small/large intestine; follicular cell adenoma of the thyroid; fibroma of the subcutis, and malignant lymphoma of the lymph node. In addition, an increased trend in tumor incidence was found in the preputial gland, lung, forestomach, pancreas islet, brain, and spleen. In females, significantly increased tumors were adenocarcinoma and fibroadenoma of the mammary gland, squamous cell papilloma of the vagina, and large granular lymphocytic leukemia of the spleen. In addition, an increased trend in tumor incidence was found in Zymbal's gland, the clitoral gland, skin, large intestine, pancreas islet, uterus, and subcutis. Particularly, malignant Zymbal's gland tumors were induced even in males exposed to the lowest concentration, 67 ppm.
Conclusion: Two-year inhalation exposure to 2-BP resulted in multi-organ carcinogenicity in rats. Based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in this study, 2-BP has the potential to be a human carcinogen.
Objective: Workers' diseases and injuries are often highly related to work. However, due to limited resources and unclear work relatedness, workers' compensation insurance cannot cover all diseases or injuries among workers. This study aimed to estimate the status and probability of disapproval from national workers' compensation insurance using basic information from Korean workers' compensation system.
Methods: The compensation insurance data for Korean workers consists of personal, occupational, and claims data. We describe the status of disapproval by workers' compensation insurance according to the type of disease or injury. A prediction model for disapproval by workers' compensation insurance was established by applying two machine-learning methods with a logistic regression model.
Results: Among 42 219 cases, there were significantly higher risks of disapproval by workers' compensation insurance for women, younger workers, technicians, and associate professionals. We established a disapproval model for workers' compensation insurance after the feature selection. The prediction model for workers' disease disapproval by the workers' compensation insurance showed a good performance, and the prediction model for workers' injury disapproval showed a moderate performance.
Conclusion: This study is the first attempt to demonstrate the status and prediction of disapproval by workers' compensation insurance using basic information from the Korean workers' compensation data. These findings suggest that diseases or injuries have a low level of evidence of work relatedness or there is a lack of research on occupational health. It is also expected to contribute to the efficiency of the management of workers' diseases or injuries.
Objectives: Despite evidence of breast cancer screening efficacy, the screening rate has remained less than 50% in Japan. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of an environmental approach offering on-site mammography in workplaces.
Methods: Supermarket stores were randomly assigned into two groups, the intervention group (leaflet and mammography) and the control group (leaflet). From May to July 2018, participants in the intervention group were given a leaflet informing them of the subsidies for breast cancer screening and offered the opportunity to have mammography in their workplaces. Participants in the control group were given the same leaflet, but had to arrange their own screening outside the workplace. The primary outcome was the breast cancer screening rate in 2018. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for having screening in the intervention group compared with the control group were estimated using multilevel logistic regression.
Results: We analyzed data from 1624 participants (mean age 53 years) from 25 supermarket stores (intervention: 8 stores, control: 17 stores). Among participants who had not attended screening in the previous year, the screening rate was 7% in the control group and 53% in the intervention group, with an adjusted OR (95% CI) of 14.22 (8.97-22.54). The effect was greater in those who had never attended screening before.
Conclusion: In a worksite-based cluster randomized controlled trial in Japanese supermarket stores, an environmental approach offering mammography in workplaces substantially increased the breast cancer screening rate within 1 year (UMIN000030465).
Objectives: There are some studies reporting the association between (manganese [Mn]) exposure to welding fume and neurological dysfunction. This study examined the relationship between Mn exposure and neurological behavior in Japanese male welders and non-welders using biological samples, which to date has not been assessed in Japan.
Methods: A total of 94 male welders and 95 male non-welders who worked in the same factories were recruited. The blood and urine samples were obtained from all the participants to measure Mn exposure levels. Neurological function tests were also conducted with all participants. The sampling of the breathing air zone using a personal sampler was measured for welders only.
Results: The odds ratios (ORs) for the Working Memory Index (WMI) scores were significantly higher among all participants in the low blood Mn concentration group than those in the high blood Mn concentration group (OR, 2.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24, 6.19; P = .013). The association of WMI scores and blood Mn levels in welders had the highest OR (OR, 3.73; 95% CI, 1.04, 13.38; P = .043). Although not statistically significant, a mild relationship between WMI scores and blood Mn levels was observed in non-welders (OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 0.63, 6.94; P = .227).
Conclusions: The results revealed a significant positive relationship between blood Mn and neurological dysfunction in welders. Furthermore, non-welders at the same factories may be secondarily exposed to welding fumes. Further research is needed to clarify this possibility.
Objective: This study aimed to determine whether telecommuting's impact on psychological distress differed depending on the status of workers' cohabiting family members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: We collected data from 33 302 workers in Japan through an Internet survey, and included 27 036 valid responses in the analysis. The survey included items on family cohabitation and telecommuting status during the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed workers' psychological distress using the Kessler 6.
Results: The psychological distress odds ratios (ORs) were higher for participants who lived with family members requiring care (OR = 1.38, P < .001), and lower for participants living with preschool children (OR = 0.77, P < .001) or a spouse (OR = 0.80, P < .001). Furthermore, odds ratios were higher for participants who worked from home and lived with family members requiring care or preschool children (OR = 1.52, P = .002; OR = 1.28, P = .028). Stratified by the presence or absence of family members living with them, psychological distress was higher for telecommuters with family members requiring care, preschool children, or elementary school children.
Conclusion: The association between telecommuting and psychological distress varies, depending on workers' living situation with family members.
Objectives: This study aimed to understand the rate of sickness absence (SA) among employees of public healthcare organizations in Mongolia, to identify factors associated with long-term SA, and to estimate costs due to SA.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included employees of public healthcare organizations who had certified SA from 2016 to 2018. Sociodemographic and occupational characteristics of absentees and the data on absences were collected. A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with long-term SA (≥15 days) among employees who had SA. Absence parameters and the average costs due to SA were calculated and the total cost due to SA at all public healthcare organizations was estimated.
Results: From 2016 to 2018, there were 13 653 absentees and 21 043 SA, and the absence rate was 0.9%. The average absence length per absence and absentee were 9.63 days and 14.85 days, respectively. Factors associated with long-term SA were age ≥40 years, 10-19 years in employment, working at the second and tertiary levels, and night shift. The average cost per absentee was 295.5 USD, and the estimated total cost for all health organizations was 1 796 993 USD per year.
Conclusions: The absence rate was 0.9% and older age, longer work experience, higher organizational level, and night shift were associated with taking a long-term SA. To reduce the costs of absenteeism and promote the health of employees in healthcare organizations, policymakers should review the policies related to SA and develop national guidelines on SA for employers, healthcare managers, and employees.
Objectives: This study examined the effectiveness of a newly developed work-family life support program on the work-family interface and mental health indicators among Japanese dual-earner couples with a preschool child(/ren) using a randomized controlled trial with a waitlist.
Methods: Participants who met the inclusion criteria were randomly allocated to the intervention or the control groups (n = 79 and n = 85, respectively). The program comprised two 3-h sessions with a 1-month interval between them and provided comprehensive skills by including self-management, couple management, and parenting management components. The program sessions were conducted on weekends in a community center room with 3-10 participants. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1-month, and 3-month follow-ups. Primary outcomes were work-family balance self-efficacy (WFBSE), four types of work-family spillovers (i.e., work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, work-to-family facilitation, and family-to-work facilitation), psychological distress, and work engagement reported by the participants.
Results: The program had significantly pooled intervention effects on WFBSE (P = .031) and psychological distress (P = .014). The effect sizes (Cohen's d) were small, with values of 0.22 at the 1-month follow-up and 0.24 at the 3-month follow-up for WFBSE, and −0.36 at the 3-month follow-up for psychological distress. However, the program had nonsignificant pooled effects on four types of work-family spillovers and work engagement.
Conclusions: The program effectively increased WFBSE and decreased psychological distress among Japanese dual-earner couples with a preschool child(/ren).
Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of water-cooled clothing that continuously cools restricted body areas to suppress body temperature increase as an anti-heatstroke measure for workers in hot environments that exceed body temperature.
Methods: Ten healthy men were placed in Room A (air temperature: 25°C, relative humidity: 50%) for 15 min. They were then transferred to Room B (air temperature: 40°C, relative humidity: 50%), where they rested for 10 min, then put on cooling clothing, and again rested for 15 min (the control group rested for 25 min). They then performed intense ergometer exercise for 40 min at 40% maximal oxygen consumption after which they rested for 10 min. The three trial conditions were CON (long-sleeved summer work clothes), VEST (cooling vest), and P-VEST (partial cooling vest). In VEST and P-VEST, water-cooled clothing continuously recirculated with 10°C water was used to cool the upper body. In P-VEST, only the neck, axillae, and heart areas were in contact with the cooled clothing. The measured indices were the rectal, esophageal, and external auditory canal temperatures; heart rate; estimated sweat volume; and subjective evaluations.
Results: Compared with the CON condition, the rectal, esophageal, and external auditory canal temperatures and the heart rate were significantly lower and the subjective indices were decreased in the VEST and P-VEST conditions.
Conclusions: Partial cooling showed a body cooling effect similar to that of whole upper body cooling. Partial body cooling promoted the heat dissipation, suggesting that partial cooling is efficient for maintaining body cooling in hot environments.
Objectives: As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread worldwide, nucleic acid detection is a key step in controlling it. Psychological issues and job burnout of nurses working in nucleic acid sampling roles for long periods have become apparent. This study aimed to explore the effects of mindfulness decompression therapy on mental health and job burnout in front-line nurses working in nucleic acid sampling during the pandemic.
Methods: Nucleic acid sampling frontline nurses who were positive for burnout on both the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Scale (MBI-GS) were selected as the participants. Frontline nurses in the nucleic acid testing area who received routine psychological nursing intervention from June 2020 to April 2021 were used as the control group. Nurses who received both routine psychological nursing and mindfulness decompression therapy from May 2021 to December 2021 formed the “mindfulness” subject group. We compared the two groups' primary outcome measures of SCL-90 and MBI-GS scores.
Results: Before the intervention, there were no significant differences between the two groups in general data, SCL-90 scores, and MBI-GS scores. After the mindfulness decompression therapy, according to SCL-90 and MBI-GS scales, psychological distress and job burnout of nurses in the mindfulness group were significantly better than those in the control group.
Conclusion: Mindfulness decompression therapy can effectively improve mental health and relieve job burnout in frontline nurses in nucleic acid sampling areas, which is worthy of clinical application. Randomized controlled trials are still needed, however, to fully confirm the effects of mindfulness decompression therapy.
Objectives: We used a quasi-experimental design to investigate the impact of a change in the shift work system by reducing overnight work on the sleep health of workers.
Methods: A difference-in-difference (DID) analysis was used to investigate changes in sleep time and sleep quality between the experimental group (shift workers, N = 116 in 2007 and N = 118 in 2013) and the control group (regular day workers, N = 256 in 2007 and N = 185 in 2013) before and after a change in the shift system that eliminated overnight work. The sleep outcomes were measured using a questionnaire that inquired about sleep duration, mid-sleep awakenings, and subjective sleep quality. We used a generalized estimating equation model to investigate differences in the prevalence of sleep-related outcomes between baseline and post-intervention.
Results: In the DID models, the sleep time per day (+0.5 h), the prevalence of awakening during sleep (−13.9%), and self-reported poor sleep quality (−34.9%) were improved with statistical significance during evening shifts in the experimental group, but there was no significant change during day shifts in the experimental group compared to the control group after the implementation of the new shift system without overnight shift.
Conclusions: Quitting overnight work improved sleep health of shift workers.
Objectives: Long COVID may be a public health concern resulting in a hidden toll of the pandemic years later, on workers and their work ability in the workforce. We illustrate the challenges in diagnosing long COVID in a patient, its associated psychological impact on work and how return-to-work can be better managed and supported from an occupational health perspective.
Methods: An Occupational Health trainee working as a government public health officer experienced persistent fatigue, decreased effort tolerance, and difficulties in concentration after contracting COVID-19. There were unintended psychological effects arising from the functional limitations that were not explained with a proper diagnosis. This was further complicated with a lack of access to occupational health services for return-to-work.
Results: He developed his own rehabilitation plan to improve his physical tolerance. Progressive efforts to build up his physical fitness complemented with workplace adjustments helped to overcome his functional limitations and allowed him to effectively return-to-work.
Conclusion: Diagnosing long COVID continues to remain challenging due to a lack of consensus on a definitive diagnostic criterion. This may give rise to unintended mental and psychological impact. Workers with long COVID symptoms can return-to-work, involving a complex individualized approach to the symptoms' impact on work, and workplace adjustments and job modifications available. The psychological toll on the worker must also be addressed. Occupational health professionals are best placed to facilitate these workers in their journey to return-to-work, with multi-disciplinary delivery models providing return to work services.
Objectives: The mask fit test confirms whether the wearing condition of the wearer's face and the facepiece of the respirators are used appropriately. This study aimed to examine whether the results of the mask fit test affect the association between the concentration of metals related to welding fumes in biological samples and the results of time-weighted average (TWA) personal exposures.
Methods: A total of 94 male welders were recruited. Blood and urine samples were obtained from all participants to measure the metal exposure levels. Using personal exposure measurements, the 8-h TWA (8 h-TWA) of respirable dust, TWA of respirable Mn, and 8-h TWA of respirable Mn were calculated. The mask fit test was performed using the quantitative method specified in the Japanese Industrial Standard T8150:2021.
Results: Fifty-four participants (57%) passed the mask fit test. Only in the Fail group of the mask fit test, it was observed that blood Mn concentrations be positively associated with the results of TWA personal exposure after adjusting for multivariate factors (8-h TWA of respirable dust; coefficient, 0.066; standard error (SE), 0.028; P = 0.018, TWA of respirable Mn: coefficient, 0.048; SE, 0.020; P = 0.019, 8 h-TWA of respirable Mn: coefficient, 0.041; SE, 0.020; P = 0.041).
Conclusions: The results clarify that welders with high concentrations of welding fumes in their breathing air zone are exposed to dust and Mn if there is leaking air owing to the lack of fitness between respirators and the wearer's face when using human samples in Japan.
Objectives: While the number of employed women has increased worldwide, they still have difficulties in practicing prenatal care at work. Previous studies have found that smartphone-based prenatal education has increased access to healthcare and contributed to improving pregnant women's health. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile-based intervention-Self-care for Pregnant Women at Work (SPWW)-in enhancing the self-care practices of pregnant women who work.
Methods: A randomized repeated measures design was used in the study. The 126 women were randomly assigned to either an intervention group that used the SPWW mobile application for 4 weeks or a control group that used an application that only had surveys. Both groups completed surveys at preintervention, week 2, and week 4 of their participation in the study. The primary study variables were work stress, pregnancy stress, fear of childbirth, pregnancy experience, and health practices in pregnancy.
Results: A total of 116 participants' data (60 in the intervention group and 56 in the control group) were analyzed. Significant group-by-time interaction effects were noted for pregnancy stress, pregnancy hassles, and health practices in pregnancy. The effect size of the intervention was small to medium for pregnancy stress (d = −0.425), pregnancy uplifts (d = 0.333), pregnancy hassles (d = −0.599), and health practices in pregnancy (d = 0.490).
Conclusions: A mobile-based intervention using a comprehensive health application is effective in pregnant women at work. Developing educational content and methods targeted at this population would be helpful.
Objective: A substantial number of workers’ experience mistreatment in the workplace, impacting workers' health and companies' functioning. Vulnerability of those with lower income has been reported, yet little is known about mistreatment during COVID-19. This study aims to examine whether workers in financial distress are particularly prone to mistreatment at the workplace with reference to pandemic-related infection prevention measures.
Methods: An internet-based, year-long prospective cohort study was conducted from 2020 to 2021. Participants were recruited from workers aged 20 and 65 years and currently employed at baseline. In total, 27 036 were included in the analysis and 18 170 responded to the follow-up survey. The odds ratio (OR) of mistreatment at the workplace regarding COVID-19 associated with the financial condition at baseline was estimated using multilevel logistic regression analysis nested by participant residence.
Results: Compared with workers in a comfortable financial condition, those under financial stress showed significantly higher ORs of mistreatment (age- and sex-adjusted model: 2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-2.47, P < .001, model adjusted for socioeconomic factors: 2.14, 95% CI 1.79-2.55, P < .001).
Conclusion: Workers in financial distress were shown to be vulnerable to mistreatment at work regarding infection prevention measures in the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring a double burden of poverty and mistreatment. The perspective of vulnerable groups needs to be taken into account when implementing countermeasures against emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. As unfair treatment in the workplace might distort vulnerable employees' reactions to infection control (e.g., hiding infection), financial deprivation should be considered a public health issue.
Objectives: We examined the associations of perceived psychosocial safety climate (PSC) with psychological distress and work engagement in Japanese employees. We also examined the mediation effects of job demands (i.e., psychological demands) and job resources (i.e., job control, worksite support, and extrinsic reward) in these associations.
Methods: A total of 2200 employees (1100 men and 1100 women) registered with a Japanese online survey company were surveyed using a self-administered web-based questionnaire containing the scales on PSC (12-item PSC scale), job demands and job resources (Job Content Questionnaire and Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire), psychological distress (K6 scale), and work engagement (9-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale), and items on demographic and occupational characteristics (i.e., age, sex, education, occupation, work form, and working hours per week). A multiple mediation analysis with a bootstrap method was conducted.
Results: After adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics, significant negative and positive total effects of perceived PSC were observed on psychological distress and work engagement, respectively (c = −0.258 [95% confidence interval (CI): −0.298 to −0.219] and 0.383 [95% CI: 0.344-0.421], respectively). When we included job demands and job resources as mediators in the model, significant total mediation effects in these associations were observed (c − c′ = −0.181 [95% CI: −0.221 to −0.143] and 0.269 [95% CI: 0.234-0.304], respectively).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that perceived PSC is negatively associated with psychological distress and positively associated with work engagement, and that these associations are partially mediated (or explained) by job demands and job resources.
Objective: To investigate trajectories of sustainable working life (SWL, ie, no interruptions or transitions in working life due to sickness absence (SA), disability pension (DP), or unemployment) in Swedish residential regions using a population-based twin cohort, while assessing sociodemographics and twin pair similarity.
Methods: Sample of 60 998 twins born in 1925-1958. SWL was assessed through main labor market status in each year in 1998-2016 based on > 180 days with SA/DP, > 180 days with unemployment, or >half of yearly income from old-age pension for not in SWL, and employment (in paid work and did not fulfill the criteria SA/DP, unemployment, or old-age pension) for SWL. Residential regions were classified into nine groups based on Swedish municipalities. Group-based trajectory models and multinomial logistic regression were applied separately for all regions.
Results: In all regions, the largest trajectory group was sustainable working life. Three to four trajectory groups developed toward unsustainable working life with different exit points from sustainable working life. A small proportion were grouped with partial stable or increase in sustainable working life. Increased age, being a woman, <12 years of education, and history of unstable working life increased, and being married and twin pair similarity decreased the likelihood of belonging to trajectories toward unsustainable working life.
Conclusions: In all regions, most of the individuals followed a sustainable working life trajectory. A reasonable proportion of individuals followed trajectories developing toward unsustainable working life. The influence of sociodemographic and familial factors on trajectory groups was similar in all regions.
Background: Prolonged and constant stress from work often leads to numerous adverse health effects. In recent years, interest in probiotics, living microorganisms that can benefit their host when consumed in adequate amounts, to aid health and well-being has increased. This scoping review is to systematically evaluate the current state of science on the effects of probiotic supplements on health, stress, and stress-related symptoms among working adults in occupational settings.
Methods: We performed a systematic scoping review following the Arksey and O'Malley Framework. Studies that examined the effects of probiotics on workers' health and stress-related indicators/outcomes in occupational settings were included. A comprehensive search was performed from November 2021 to January 2022 using MEDLINE/PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsychInfo, Scopus, and Embase.
Results: A total of 14 papers met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Probiotics consisted primarily of Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium strains in various forms and doses. Three out of eight studies reported statistical differences in inflammatory markers or stress hormone levels between probiotic and placebo groups. Three of six reported reduced respiratory tract infection incidents in the probiotic groups and three out of four studies reported no differences in anxiety and depression between groups. Lastly, three studies found that absenteeism and presentism were lower in probiotic groups compared with placebo groups.
Conclusion: The potential benefits of probiotics exist; however, the measurements of outcomes, the types of probiotics used, and the characteristics of the intervention varied across studies. Further research is needed focusing on probiotics' direct and indirect mechanisms of action on the stress response and the standardization of strains and dosing.
Objectives: To examine the effect of automatic communication notifications on performance and strain. Because of the benefits of communication, we expected this effect to be moderated by fear of missing out (FoMO) and social norms of responsiveness, expressed in the experience of telepressure.
Methods: A field experiment (N = 247) was conducted in which participants in the experimental group disabled their notification during 1 day (N = 124).
Results: The findings revealed that a reduction of notification-caused interruptions is beneficial for performance and reducing strain. The moderating of FoMO and telepressure was significant for performance.
Conclusions: Based on these findings, reducing the number of notifications is recommended, especially for employee's low in FoMO and medium to high telepressure. Future work needs to analyze the role of anxiety impeding cognitive performance when notifications are disabled.
Objective: To examine the effect of 24-h shift work on autonomic nervous system function via heart rate variability (HRV) methodologies.
Methods: Electronic databases (indexed in either PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, or OpenDissertations) were searched from January 1964 to March 2023. A modified Downs and Black checklist was used for assessing methodological quality and the Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to evaluate the quality of evidence. Study design, study population, study sample, shift work description, and assessment of HRV metrics and methods were extracted from each study.
Findings: A total of 58 478 study articles were identified, of which 12 articles met inclusion criteria. Sample sizes varied from eight to 60 participants, with the ratio of low- to high-frequency HRV (LF/HF) as the most common frequency-domain variable reported. Of the nine included studies that observed LF/HF, three (33.3%) demonstrated a significant increase after 24-h shift work. Moreover, of the five studies that reported HF, two (40%) noted a significant decrease after 24-h shift work. When observing risk of bias, two (16.6%) studies were low quality, five (41.7%) were moderate quality, and five (41.7%) were high quality.
Interpretation: There were inconsistent findings demonstrating an effect of 24-h shift work on autonomic function, with a suggested shift away from parasympathetic dominance. Discrepancies in HRV methodologies, such as the duration of recordings and hardware used for measurement, may have contributed to the disparity in findings. In addition, differences in roles and responsibilities across occupations may explain the incongruence in findings across studies.
Objectives: This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the associations of a poor working environment at home with psychological distress and psychosomatic symptoms in employees working from home in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The data obtained in October 2021 from an online cohort of full-time employees (E- COCO- J) were used. Participants who worked from home for at least some days per month were included. The poor working environment at home was assessed using 11 items based on the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare recommended checklist. The score ranged from 0 to 11. Psychological distress and psychosomatic symptoms were measured by the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ). The associations between total scores of poor working environment and outcomes were examined by multiple regression analysis, adjusted by age, sex, education, living with family, frequencies of working from home, company size, job demand, job control, and workplace social support.
Results: Two hundred twenty-six employees who were working at home were included. The mean of the summed scores of poor working environments at home was 2.75. After adjusting the covariates, summed scores of poor working environments were significantly associated with high psychological distress (standardized β = 0.21, P = .003) and with high psychosomatic symptoms (β = 0.19, P = .005). For each poor environment, lack of ventilation and difficulty staying hydrated or resting were significantly associated with both outcomes.
Conclusions: Even after adjusting for job stressors and support, working environments at home were associated with employees' mental health. Appropriate measures and education may be needed.
Objectives: In recent years, the employment statuses of the elderly have become more diverse, and it is important to investigate the differences in health status according to employment statuses. This study aimed to examine the differences in physical activity and mental function among elderly Japanese according to their employment status and to examine the differences between men and women.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used an online questionnaire. The participants were persons aged ≥60 years. Data on their sociodemographic indicators, employment status, physical activity, and mental function were collected. They were classified into six groups according to their employment status: being employed, completely retired, re-hired at the same workplace, re-hired at a different workplace, early retirement, and working at a job without a mandatory retirement age. Differences in the surveyed items according to employment status were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test.
Results: The total number of participants in the analysis with complete responses was 1552 (1207 men and 345 women; mean age 67.8 ± 5.9 years). The results revealed that among men, those who were re-hired at different workplaces had higher walking physical activity, and retirees and early retirees had longer sedentary time and lower sense of self-usefulness. There was no clear difference among women according to their employment status.
Conclusions: The results suggest that physical activity and mental function among older adults may differ according to their employment status, especially for men. Employment among the elderly may play an important role in maintaining their physical activity and mental function.
Objectives: When dentists adjust prostheses at the dental chairside, particulate matter (PM) from the dental material is dispersed. Little is known about the effective use of an extraoral vacuum (EOV) in preventing PM dispersal. This study aimed to evaluate the effective use of an EOV in preventing the dispersal of metal PM in dental offices.
Methods: The following experimental conditions were planned: the distance from the EOV to the metallic materials (50, 100, 150, and 200 mm), the horizontal angle between the long axis of the micromotor handpiece and EOV (0°, 45°, and 90°), and the operating time of the EOV (during grinding, during grinding and 1 min thereafter, during grinding and the preceding 1 min, 1 min before and after grinding, and during grinding). Carborundum and silicone points were used for grinding and PM dispersal. Diameters (0.3, 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 μm) were measured using a laser particle counter.
Results: Depending on the instrument used to grind, there were undetectable PMs of different diameters (Carborundum point: 0.3 and 0.5 μm, Silicone point: 0.3 μm). PMNs were reduced as the distance from the EOV to metal materials decreased. Operating the EOV before grinding along the long axis of the micromotor handpiece was effective in reducing the PMNs.
Conclusion: PMNs dispersed when grinding metals were effectively reduced by positioning the EOV closer to the grinding surface (within 150 mm) along the long axis of the micromotor handpiece and operating the EOV before grinding.
Objective: This study aimed to quantitatively confirm the effects of dental specialists' work and stretching on musculoskeletal pain.
Methods: The pain pressure threshold was divided into five parts (neck, shoulder, trunk, lower back, and hand/arm) of the upper body and measured at 15 muscle trigger points. The pain pressure threshold before and after work was measured, and 30 min of stretching and rest were stipulated as an intervention.
Results: The pain pressure thresholds reduced significantly in all muscles after work (P < .05). In the stretching group, the pain pressure thresholds increased significantly in all muscles (P < .05). In particular, the iliocostalis lumborum (lower back), rhomboid (trunk), transverse carpal ligament (hand/arm), levator scapulae-superior angle (neck), and upper trapezius (shoulder) muscles showed the greatest decrease in pain pressure threshold after work and the greatest increase after stretching.
Conclusions: Stretching helps immediately relieve musculoskeletal pain in dental professionals and can prevent and manage work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Objective: Nonstandard workers might have a relatively higher risk of unmet medical needs than standard workers. This study subdivided nonstandard workers to investigate the effects of nonstandard employment on unmet medical needs.
Methods: We used the Korea Health Panel 2011-2018 data. The independent variable, employment contract, was defined using the nonstandard form described by the ILO: Temporary workers, Part-time workers, and Temporary agent workers. The analytical method used in this study was a panel logit model that accounted for repeated measured participants. By controlling for time-invariant individual-fixed effects, we investigate the relationship between subdivided nonstandard work and the risk of unmet medical needs with reference to standard work.
Results: The results of the analysis clearly showed that compared with standard workers, temporary agency workers had a significantly higher risk of unmet medical needs (Odds ratio = 1.182, 95% CI = 1.016-1.374). The main cause of this phenomenon was economic reasons in this group.
Conclusions: This study found that temporary agency workers in the general Korean population have a significantly higher risk of unmet healthcare needs. The result of this study implies that financial hardship might be a fundamental health hazard among workers with nonstandard employment.
Objectives: Dental check-ups at the workplace provide the opportunity for early detection of dental diseases. Dental check-ups during working hours could reduce the number of days of absence from work due to visits to dental clinics outside the workplace. Although health check-ups are provided to workers in Japan, dental check-ups is not mandatory. This study aimed to determine the association between the place of dental check-ups and absenteeism due to visits to the dental clinic.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from an online self-reported worker survey conducted for 2 weeks in March 2017. We applied linear regression analysis with robust variance to determine the association between the place of dental check-ups and absenteeism due to dental clinic visits while adjusting for sociodemographic, health, and oral health covariates.
Results: The average age of the 3930 participants was 43.3 ± 11.7 years, and 52.3% were male. The number of days of absenteeism due to dental clinic visits in the past year for those who received check-ups only at the dental clinic and at the workplace were 0.57 ± 2.67 days and 0.21 ± 1.20 days, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, it was found that those who received dental check-ups at the workplace had 0.35 (95% CI, 0.12-0.58) fewer days of absence than those who received dental check-ups at the dental clinic.
Conclusion: Workers who received dental check-ups at the workplace were associated with fewer days of absence due to dental visits than those who received at the dental clinic.
Objective: The aim of this study is to systematically chart and summarize the literature pertaining to workplace health promotion (WHP) interventions targeting the five main modifiable lifestyle risk factors for chronic disease, including smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity, overweight/obesity (SNAPO) in Australian workers.
Methods: A scoping review was performed using the framework of Arksey and O'Malley. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and SCOPUS were searched to identify peer-reviewed publications that evaluated primary or secondary WHP interventions which targeted one or more modifiable risk factor (SNAPO).
Results: A total of fifty-six articles were included in the review. The findings revealed a heterogeneous nature of WHP intervention design and evaluation. The majority of the interventions focussed on physical activity, with fewer targeting the other four main modifiable risk factors. Health care and white-collar workers were most frequently targeted, with less attention paid to other worker groups. The review also found that many interventions had a duration of three months or less.
Conclusions: Significant gaps have been identified in relation to the occupational role, risk factors targeted, and intervention length. This review also highlights the need for further research to be conducted to determine the efficacy of interventions to facilitate the development of a framework for WHP interventions to reduce the risk and prevalence of chronic disease.
Objective: To assess the prevalence of bullying in medical residents and its associated factors.
Methods: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, articles from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, PsycInfo, Cochrane databases, and Web of Science were searched. Published and unpublished cross-sectional studies were included. Cochrane's Q test and I2 statistics were used to assess the existence of heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were performed on evidence of heterogeneity. Egger's test and funnel plots were performed to investigate publication bias.
Results: A total of 13 cross-sectional studies with a total of 44 566 study participants from different medical residencies were analyzed. The overall prevalence of bullying was 51% (95% CI 36-66). Furthermore, female residents and residents that belong to a minority group had higher odds of experiencing bullying compared to their peers.
Conclusion: A high prevalence of bullying in medical residents exists around the world. There is a need for education, dissemination, and more effective interventions among the residents and authorities about bullying to build and promote adequate behaviors and diminish bullying prevalence.
Objectives: In this study, we conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial to verify the effectiveness of a treatment work balance support (TWBS) program promoted by occupational health nurses (OHNs) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using a web meeting system.
Methods: We analyzed data from 64 managers (32 each in the control and intervention groups) and 541 workers (246 and 295 in the control and intervention groups, respectively) from 22 SMEs (11 in each group) with less than 200 workers. The TWBS program comprised online consultations for managers and seminars for workers by an OHN. TWBS leaflets were distributed among both groups. The “Recognition and Attitude Scale toward TWBS” was administered and workplace climate, psychological safety (PS), and work engagement (WE) scores were measured at baseline and endpoint. The increase in scores of each group was analyzed using a linear mixed-effects model.
Results: Increases in managers' scores on all three recognition and attitude subscales were significantly greater in the intervention than in the control group (P = .048, .003, and .032, respectively). Workers' score increases were significantly higher on two subscales-recognition of workplace initiatives and understanding of professionals' roles-in the intervention than in the control group (P = .043 and .001, respectively). There was no difference between the two groups in the amount of increase in PS and WE, as perceived by managers and workers.
Conclusions: The TWBS program promoted by OHN increased recognition and attitude among SME managers and workers, indicating the usability of promoting TWBS in SMEs.
Objectives: The demand on Japanese women to fulfill their dual roles as mothers and labor force participants leads to a subsequent reduction of their employment hours, switching of occupations, or quitting the labor force. This study aims to examine paternal factors associated with mothers' employment status 18 months after childbirth.
Methods: We used data from the 2010 cohort of the Longitudinal Survey of Newborns conducted in Japan. We restricted our analysis to 10 712 mothers who had full-time employment 1 year before childbirth. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess paternal factors associated with mothers' employment after childbirth.
Results: One-third of the mothers with full-time employment before childbirth were not working full-time 18 months after delivery. We found that high childcare involvement (score 13-18) of fathers (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.01-1.43) and fathers with part-time employment (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.12-2.26) were associated with higher odds of mothers' full-time employment. Fathers' weekly work of ≥60 h (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.71-0.88) and higher annual income decreased the odds ratios by over 20%.
Conclusions: Fathers' work arrangements and involvement in childcare play a key role in helping mothers resume employment postchildbirth.
Objectives: The aim of this work was to quantify the postures and to assess the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) risk in physiotherapists repeating a manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) over a three-month period. The underlying hypothesis was that there would be Generic Postures (GP) that would be repeated and could be used to more simply describe repetitive and long-duration complex activities.
Methods: The posture of five physiotherapists performing five 20-min MLD at their workplace was captured by two cameras. From the recordings, the adopted postures were extracted every 5 s and quantified through 13 joint angles, that is, 6594 analyzed postures. Rapid Upper Limb (RULA) and Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) were used to assess MSDs risks. A hierarchical analysis was used to define GP.
Results: Seven GP were identified through mean values and standard deviation. GP ergonomic assessment showed a low to moderate MSD risk (RULA between 3 and 6 and REBA between 2 and 7). High neck (>20°) and trunk (>15°) flexion were observed for all GP. High shoulder abduction and flexion (>40°) were evidenced for GP3 to GP5. GP1 was the most used (34%) and presented the lowest ergonomic scores (RULA: 4.46 ± 0.84; REBA: 5.06 ± 1.75). GP3 to GP6 had frequency of between 10 and 20%. GP5, GP6, and GP7 obtained the highest ergonomic scores (RULA>5; REBA>7). All physiotherapists use different GP combinations to perform MLD.
Conclusion: MLD could be described as a combination of GP. Ergonomic analysis showed that MLD exposes physiotherapists to low at moderate MSD risks.