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Impact of organisational change on mental health: a systematic review
  1. Simon Grandjean Bamberger1,
  2. Anker Lund Vinding2,
  3. Anelia Larsen3,
  4. Peter Nielsen4,
  5. Kirsten Fonager5,
  6. René Nesgaard Nielsen6,
  7. Pia Ryom1,
  8. Øyvind Omland1
  1. 1Department of Occupational Medicine, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Danish Ramazzini Center, Aalborg, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Quality, North Denmark Region, Aalborg, Denmark
  3. 3Outpatient Department, Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Political Science, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  5. 5Department of Social Medicine, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  6. 6Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Simon Grandjean Bamberger, Department of Occupational Medicine, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Havrevangen 1, Aalborg DK-9000, Denmark; sigb{at}


Although limited evidence is available, organisational change is often cited as the cause of mental health problems. This paper provides an overview of the current literature regarding the impact of organisational change on mental health. A systematic search in PUBMED, PsychInfo and Web of Knowledge combining MeSH search terms for exposure and outcome. The criterion for inclusion was original data on exposure to organisational change with mental health problems as outcome. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies were included. We found in 11 out of 17 studies, an association between organisational change and elevated risk of mental health problems was observed, with a less provident association in the longitudinal studies. Based on the current research, this review cannot provide sufficient evidence of an association between organisational change and elevated risk of mental health problems. More studies of long-term effects are required including relevant analyses of confounders.

  • Organisational change
  • mental health
  • psychosocial environment
  • psychology
  • organisation of work
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • psychiatry
  • epidemiology
  • sickness absence

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  • Funding This research was financed by grant: 20080053113/12-2008-09 from the Foundation for Research of Work Environment (Denmark). The funders played no part in the conduct or reporting of the research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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