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The association between team climate at work and mental health in the Finnish Health 2000 Study


Objectives: Depression, anxiety and alcohol use disorders are common mental health problems in the working population. However, the team climate at work related to these disorders has not been studied using standardised interview methods and it is not known whether poor team climate predicts antidepressant use. This study investigated whether team climate at work was associated with DSM-IV depressive, anxiety and alcohol use disorders and subsequent antidepressant medication in a random sample of Finnish employees.

Methods: The nationally representative sample comprised 3347 employees aged 30–64 years. Team climate was measured with a self-assessment scale. Diagnoses of depressive, anxiety and alcohol use disorders were based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Data on the purchase of antidepressant medication in a 3-year follow-up period were collected from a nationwide pharmaceutical register of the Social Insurance Institution.

Results: In the risk factor adjusted models, poor team climate at work was significantly associated with depressive disorders (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.36) but not with alcohol use disorders. The significance of the association between team climate and anxiety disorders disappeared when the model was adjusted for job control and job demands. Poor team climate also predicted antidepressant medication (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.30).

Conclusion: A poor team climate at work is associated with depressive disorders and subsequent antidepressant use.

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