Introduction Workplace bullying has been currently described as one of the main psychosocial factors at work that reflects in workers’ health. Its determination has been increasingly discussed in literature. We aimed to evaluate the association between work organisation and bullying in a Brazilian Civil Servants sample, in order to understand this phenomenon.
Methods Cross-sectional study with a sample of 2073 workers from the Brazilian Federal Judiciary. Work Context Assessment Scale (EACT) was used to evaluate dimensions of work organisation (OT), working conditions (CT) and interpersonal relationships (RSS). The Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-r) was used to measure bullying. Poisson and logistic regression models were used to test associations of interest, controlling for confounders.
Results The overall prevalence of bullying (exposure to a weekly negative act) was 17.0%. In the regression analyses controlling for social, demographic and occupational confounders, all factors of the work context, when classified as severe, were strongly associated with bullying (p<0.01), increasing the prevalence of the outcome in 10.4 (OT), 3.6 (CT) and 11.0 (RS) times. After including working context as a covariate in the model, in order to verify the isolated effect of each dimension, severe OT and RS remained strongly associated with bullying (Prevalence ratio=4.8 and 6.5, respectively, p<0.01).
Discussion These findings corroborate the hypothesis that work organisation is one of the main determinants of workplace bullying. Labour characteristics of this public service and the quality of instruments support an adequate temporality between exposure and outcome. Interventions to eliminate bullying and protect workers health should focus on work organisation and work processes.
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