Objectives In a large project on “Mental health in the working world”, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health aims at producing a broadbased state of scientific evidence with regard to mental load and health. Within this project, the aim was to undertake a scoping review on the association of organisational justice based on the theories of Colquitt (2001) and Cohen-Carash und Spector (2001) and selected health outcomes
Methods In a systematic literature search (PubMed, PsycINFO/PsycARTICLES/PSYNDEX (EBSCO Host) from January 1, 2000 until October 15, 2014), English and German articles from mainly Western cultures amongst others on mental health (MH) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) were identified.
Results After the first screening, 249 articles were retrieved of which 126 articles relevant for organisational justice were analysed (MH n = 106, CVD n = 9). The outcomes most frequently under study were burnout (n = 37) and depression (n = 17). Most studies were cross-sectional (n = 108), only 24 longitudinal. Exposure assessment was heterogeneous, with various scales of procedural justice (n = 47) most frequently used, followed by distributive justice (n = 31), and interactional justice (n = 8) and its subscales interpersonal justice (n = 14) and informational justice (n = 12). Associations were generally homogeneous in favour of higher justice associated with better health. The risk estimates were modest. For the association of organisational justice and depression in the longitudinal studies (n = 7), reverse causality could not be excluded. Three analyses of two prospective cohort studies show an association of organisational justice and cardiovascular diseases.
Conclusions Research gaps were identified particularly regarding the need for prospective cohort studies using validated instruments in different industrial sectors. The additional measurement of organisational justice is relevant and complements other models like the job-demand-control-model and Effort-reward-imbalance.
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