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Psychosocial factors at work and self reported health: comparative results of cross sectional and prospective analyses of the French GAZEL cohort
  1. I Niedhammer,
  2. M Chea
  1. INSERM Unit 88, Hôpital National de Saint-Maurice, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I Niedhammer, INSERM U88, Hôpital National de Saint Maurice, 14 rue du Val d’Osne, F-94415 Saint-Maurice Cedex, France; 


Background: Psychosocial factors at work have been found to be significant contributors to health, especially cardiovascular health.

Aims: To explore the relation between psychosocial factors at work and self reported health, using cross sectional and prospective analyses for a large occupational cohort of men and women.

Methods: Psychosocial factors at work were evaluated using the Karasek questionnaire, designed to measure psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, and physical demands. Self reported health was used as health outcome. Covariates included chronic diseases, and sociodemographic, occupational, and behavioural factors. The cross sectional and prospective analyses concerned respectively 11 447 and 7664 workers. Men and women were analysed separately.

Results: Cross sectional analysis revealed significant associations between psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, and physical demands, and self reported health for both men and women. Prospective analysis showed that high psychological demands for both genders, low decision authority for men, and low social support and high physical demands for women were predictive of poor self reported health. These results were independent of potential confounding variables.

Conclusions: Results highlight the predictive effects of psychosocial factors at work on self reported health in a one year follow up study. They also underline the need for longitudinal study design and separate analyses for men and women in the field of psychosocial factors at work.

  • psychosocial factors at work
  • Karasek’s model
  • self reported health

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