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Work-related psychosocial factors, worry about work conditions and health complaints among female and male ambulance personnel

Authors


Ulrika Aasa, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Box 7629, S-907 12 Umeå, Sweden.
E-mail: uaa@hig.se

Abstract

This study aimed at investigating the relationships between work-related psychosocial factors, worry about work conditions and health complaints (sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms) among female and male ambulance personnel. Out of 4000 ambulance personnel in Sweden, 1500 (300 female and 1200 male personnel) were randomly selected. They answered a questionnaire including items on self-reported health complaints, individual characteristics, work-related psychological demands, decision latitude, social support and worry about work conditions. Twenty-five per cent of the female and 20% of the male ambulance personnel reported two or more health complaints sometimes or often. According to the demand-control-support questionnaire, ambulance personnel reported a generally positive psychosocial work environment, although psychological demands were associated with sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms among both female and male ambulance personnel. Another factor that was significantly associated with health complaints among both genders was worry about work conditions. When worry about work conditions was added to the regression models, this variable took over the role from psychological demands as a predictor for health complaints among the female ambulance personnel. The prevalence of sleeping problems, headache and stomach symptoms were significantly associated with psychological demands among both female and male ambulance personnel. Notably, worry about work conditions seems to be an important risk factor for health complaints. This suggests that worry about work conditions should not be neglected when considering risk factors among ambulance personnel.

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