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Effect of a participatory ergonomics intervention on psychosocial factors at work in a randomized controlled trial
  1. Eija Haukka (eija.haukka{at}ttl.fi)
  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
    1. Irmeli Pehkonen (irmeli.pehkonen{at}ttl.fi)
    1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
      1. Päivi Leino-Arjas (paivi.leino-arjas{at}ttl.fi)
      1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
        1. Eira Viikari-Juntura (eira.viikari-juntura{at}ttl.fi)
        1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
          1. Esa-Pekka Takala (esa-pekka.takala{at}ttl.fi)
          1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
            1. Antti Malmivaara (antti.malmivaara{at}stakes.fi)
            1. National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
              1. Leila Hopsu (leila.hopsu{at}ttl.fi)
              1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                1. Pertti Mutanen (pertti.mutanen{at}ttl.fi)
                1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                  1. Ritva Ketola (ritva.ketola{at}ttl.fi)
                  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                    1. Tuija Virtanen (tuija.virtanen{at}ttl.fi)
                    1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                      1. Merja Holtari-Leino (merja.holtari-leino{at}tsp.stm.fi)
                      1. Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate of Turku and Pori, Finland
                        1. Jaana Nykänen (jaana.nykanen{at}ttl.fi)
                        1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                          1. Sari Stenholm (sari.stenholm{at}ktl.fi)
                          1. National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, and National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Finland
                            1. Anneli Ojajärvi (anneli.ojajarvi{at}ttl.fi)
                            1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
                              1. Hilkka Riihimäki (hilkka.riihimaki{at}ttl.fi)
                              1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland

                                Abstract

                                Objectives: To study the effect of a participatory ergonomics intervention on psychosocial factors at work among kitchen workers.

                                Design: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

                                Setting: Four cities in Finland in 2002-2005.

                                Participants: 504 workers of 119 municipal kitchens.

                                Intervention: Kitchens were randomized to intervention (n = 59) and control (n = 60) groups. The intervention lasted 11 to 14 months. It was based on the workers' active participation in work analysis, planning, and implementing the ergonomic changes aimed to decrease physical and mental workload.

                                Main outcome measures: Mental stress, mental strenuousness of work, hurry, job satisfaction, job control, skill discretion, co-worker relationships, supervisor support. Data were collected by questionnaire at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and at a 12- month follow-up (PI12).

                                Results: At the end of the intervention, the odds ratio (OR) of job dissatisfaction for the intervention group as compared with the control group was 3.0 (95% CI 1.1-8.5), of mental stress 2.3 (1.2-4.7) and of poor co-worker relationships 2.3 (1.0-5.2). At the PI12, the respective OR of job dissatisfaction was 3.0 (1.2-7.8). Analysis of the independent and joint effects of the intervention and extraneous organizational reforms showed that adverse changes were accentuated among those with exposure to both.

                                Conclusions: No favourable effects on psychosocial factors at work were found. The adverse changes were due to a joint effect of the intervention and the extraneous organizational reforms. The findings do not support the usefulness of this kind of intervention in changing unsatisfactory psychosocial working conditions.

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