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Associations of fatigue to work-related stress, mental and physical health in an employed community sample

Background: While work-related fatigue has become an issue of concern among European employees, the relationship between fatigue, depression and work-related stressors is far from clear. The purposes of this study were (1) to determine the associations of fatigue with work-related stressors, severe medical disease, health behavior and depression in the working population and (2) to determine the unique impact of work-related stressors on fatigue.

Methods: We used cross-sectional data of N = 7,930 working participants enrolled in the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) from 2007 to 2012 filled out the Personal Burnout Scale (PBS) of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), the PHQ-9, and a list of work-related stressors.

Results: A total of 27.5% reported increased fatigue, esp. women, younger persons with a lower social status and income, smokers, severely medically ill, previously and currently depressed participants. Fatigue was consistently associated with severe medical disease, health behavior and depression, which need to be taken into account as potential confounders when analyzing its relationship to work-related strains. Depression was consistently associated with work-related stressors. However, after statistically partialling out depression, fatigue was still significantly associated with work-related stress.

Conclusions: Fatigue as an indicator of allostatic load is consistently associated with work-related stressors such as work overload after controlling for depression. The brief Personal Burn-out Scale is suitable for assessing work-related fatigue in the general population.

This article is published in the Journal "BMC Psychiatry", Volume 17, Issue 167.

Bibliographic information

D. M. Rose, A. Seidler, M. Nübling, U. Latza, E. Brähler, E. M. Klein, J. Wiltink, M. Michal, S. Nickels, P. S. Wild, J. König, M. Claus, S. Letzel, M. E. Beutel:
Associations of fatigue to work-related stress, mental and physical health in an employed community sample. 
in: BMC Psychiatry, Volume 17, Issue 167 2017. pages 8, Project number: F 2235, DOI: 10.1186/s12888-017-1237-y

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Research Project

Project numberF 2235 StatusCompleted Project Work-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases

Find out more : Work-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases …

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