Objectives This study aimed to describe the prevalence of exposures to occupational hazards among pregnant workers and examine the prevalence of depressive mood and the associated underlying risk factors.
Materials and Methods Subjects were recruited during their regular prenatal screening at 12 weeks gestation in one medical centre and one local clinic in Northern Taiwan. Data were obtained through questionnaires containing demographic characteristics, workplace exposures, occupational burnout inventory, job content questionnaire, and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
Results Of 172 women screened, the most commonly encountered exposure was to prolonged standing (30%), followed by repetitive movements (26%) and noise (26%). 65% reported that consultation services on maternity protection or right were not provided in the work place, but those who were exposed to four or more hazards had more access to these services (p=0.0157). 13% of pregnant workers scored above the cutoff point (=10) on EPDS; in addition, higher work-related burnout, lower job control, and lower workplace support were significantly associated with antenatal depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio of 1.50, 0.68, and 0.89, respectively).
Conclusion These data revealed that pregnant workers suffered a substantial amount of occupational hazards and experienced depressive symptoms in Taiwan, and their work conditions may require increased monitoring and better improvement.
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