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0173 Grouping strategies for exposure assessment of the psychosocial work environment
  1. Morten Vejs Willert1,
  2. Vivi Schlünssen1,2,
  3. Ioannis Basinas2,
  4. Zara Ann Stokholm1,
  5. Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup3,
  6. Johan Hviid Andersen4,
  7. Reiner Rugulies5,
  8. Åse Marie Hansen3,
  9. Linda Kærlev6,
  10. Jane Frølund Thomsen7,
  11. Marianne Agergaard Vammen7,
  12. Henrik Kolstad1
  1. 1Danish Ramazzini Centre, Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Region Midt, Denmark
  2. 2Danish Ramazzini Centre, Department of Occupational Medicine, Herning University Hospital, Region Midt, Denmark
  3. 3Research Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Region Southern Denmark, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  5. 5Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. 6Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. 7Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Capital Region, Denmark


Objectives Individual response style, mood, expectations, and health status may affect reporting of the psychosocial work environment, and bias associations with outcomes. Reporting bias may be avoided by aggregating individual responses, ideally preserving exposure contrast. In this study, we examined the degree of exposure contrast yielded by different grouping strategies.

Method In 2007, we enrolled 4489 public employees from Aarhus, Denmark in the PRISME-cohort, with follow-up in 2009. From pay-roll registers we grouped workers at 2 organisational levels: department (n = 22) and work unit (n = 751), and 3 occupational levels: sector (n = 7), profession (n = 46), and job title (n = 77). Exposures, calculated as means of items scored on 5-point Likert scales, included psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, effort, reward, and procedural and relational justice. To assess variance components, we fitted linear mixed effect models with exposures as dependent variables, and id and grouping variables as random effects. Results are reported as the contrast in mean exposure levels e.g. between-group variance/ (between-group variance +within-group variance).

Results Within each hierarchy contrasts rose with increasing group-level detail. Grouping by either work unit (wu) or by job title (jt) contrasts were: psychological demands: 0.28(wu); 0.26(jt), decision latitude: 0.24(wu); 0.32(jt), social support: 0.24(wu); 0.06(jt), effort: 0.23(wu); 0.16(jt), reward: 0.19(wu); 0.12(jt), procedural justice: 0.24(wu); 0.14(jt), and relational justice: 0.29(wu); 0.04(jt).

Conclusions Grouping by work unit gave the most consistent contrasts (0.19–0.29), while grouping by job title varied considerably (0.04–0.32). These preliminary findings suggest that grouping by work unit provided better exposure contrasts than grouping by job title for all exposures, but decision latitude.

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