Psychosocial work characteristics may be associated with needle stick/sharps injuries (NSIs) among nurses. The current evidence is, however, sparse, inconclusive, and mainly limited to cross-sectional investigations. Therefore, a longitudinal study was conducted among 1791 female hospital nurses from China. At baseline and at a 1-year follow-up, 14 psychosocial work characteristics were assessed by the short Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ). At follow-up, any NSI in the workplace during the previous year was measured by participants’ self-reports. We quantified associations between (i) psychosocial work characteristics at baseline and NSIs at follow-up by multivariate relative risks (Poisson regression) and (ii) NSIs reported at follow-up with psychosocial work characteristics at follow-up (multivariate linear regression, among others, adjusted for psychosocial work characteristics at baseline). We found the only psychosocial work characteristic associated with a slightly increased risk of subsequent NSIs was quantitative demands. Regarding the opposite direction of effect, NSIs during the year preceding the follow-up were associated with slightly worse ratings of 7 psychosocial work characteristics at follow-up (i.e., influence at work, meaning of work, commitment to the workplace, quality of leadership, social support, social community at work, and job insecurity). In conclusion, our study does not provide compelling evidence for an association of psychosocial work characteristics and subsequent occurrence of NSIs. By contrast, experience of NSIs may predict less favourable perceptions of psychosocial work characteristics.
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