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Dual source support and control at work in relation to poor health.

Oxenstierna, G; Ferrie, J; Hyde, M; Westerlund, H; Theorell, T; (2005) Dual source support and control at work in relation to poor health. Scand J Public Health , 33 (6) pp. 455-463. 10.1080/14034940510006030.

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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Social support and decision authority in relation to health has been examined in extensive research. However, research on the role of different constellations of support sources is conspicuously lacking. The aim of the present study is to describe the health of employees in eight contrasting situations that differ with regard to support from superiors and from workmates and with regard to decision authority. Men and women were studied separately. STUDY SAMPLE AND METHODS: A large sample of Swedish employees (n = 53,371, after exclusion of supervisors) who participated in a national work environment survey was utilized. In addition prospective long-term sick leave data (60 days or more during the 12 months after questionnaire completion) were collected from the national insurance register. RESULTS: Employees who reported below median decision authority had higher prevalence of pains after work and general physical symptoms as well as a higher incidence of long-term sick leave than those with higher decision authority in all subgroups. Those with good support from both workmates and superiors had lower symptom prevalence and long-term sick leave incidence than those with poor support. The groups with either poor support from superiors or from workmates were in an intermediate category with regard to symptom prevalence. The group with good support from superiors but weak support from workmates, however, had as high long-term sick leave incidence as the group with poor support from both superiors and workmates. The patterns were similar for men and women. CONCLUSION: Long-term sick leave was related mainly to poor support from workmates. Prevalence of symptoms, on the other hand, was related to both sources of support and absence of both sources was associated with particularly high prevalence of physical symptoms. This illustrates that it is meaningful to separate the social support sources.

Type: Article
Title: Dual source support and control at work in relation to poor health.
Location: Sweden
DOI: 10.1080/14034940510006030
Keywords: Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Decision Making, Female, Health Status, Humans, Interprofessional Relations, Male, Morbidity, Occupational Diseases, Occupational Health, Pain, Prospective Studies, Rehabilitation, Vocational, Sick Leave, Social Support, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires, Sweden, Workload, Workplace
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/187451
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