Objectives Psychologists often experience demanding work situations. Despite their professional training, a high workload may hinder rest and recovery and have negative implications for health and expectations on work. Accordingly, we examined how Swedish psychologists perceived their workload, health and future work situation as well as whether workload was associated with self-rated health and satisfaction with the future work situation.
Methods Permanently employed and authorised psychologists (N = 2518 (1910 women and 608 men)), working at least 50% of full-time, were included. The mean age was 46 years (SD 11 years). All were responders to a cross-sectional survey with a response rate of 48% (n = 3240). Workload was assessed with four items, each of which was dichotomized (0 = never to monthly; 1 = weekly to daily) and summed into an index score reflecting increasing workload (range 0–4). Self-rated health was assessed with one item (dichotomized into “poor/less good” or “good/very good/excellent”) as was expectations on the future work situation (dichotomized into “very satisfied/satisfied” or “dissatisfied/very dissatisfied”).
Results Poor self-rated health was reported by 14.6% and 40.1% reported high workload on at least three of the four workload items. In total 37.6% expressed some degree of dissatisfaction regarding the future work situation. Age and gender adjusted logistic regression analyses showed that increasing workload was associated with increasing reports of poor self-rated health (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.20 to 1.45, p < 0.001) and dissatisfaction regarding the future expectations on work (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.18 to 1.34, p < 0.001).
Conclusion Reports of high workload and dissatisfaction over the expected future work situation were common. That a high workload was associated with poor self-rated health and dissatisfaction over the future work situation suggests the existence of a potentially ungainful mismatch between the person and the environment, regarding both health and occupational function.
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