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Downsizing and purchases of psychotropic drugs: A longitudinal study of stayers, changers and unemployed
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
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Number of Authors: 52018 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 8, article id e0203433Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background The evidence is insufficient regarding the association between organizational downsizing and employee mental health. Our aim was to analyze trajectories of prescribed sedatives and anxiolytics with a sufficiently long follow-up time to capture anticipation, implementation and adaption to a downsizing event among stayers, changers and those who become unemployed compared to unexposed employees. Method Swedish residents aged 20-54 years in 2007, with stable employment between 2004 and 2007, were followed between 2005 and 2013 (n = 2,305,795). Employment at a workplace with staff reductions >= 18% between two subsequent years in 2007-2011 (n = 915,461) indicated exposure to, and timing of, downsizing. The unexposed (n = 1,390,334) were randomized into four corresponding sub-cohorts. With generalized estimating equations, we calculated the odds ratios (OR) of purchasing prescribed anxiolytics or sedatives within nine 12-month periods, from four years before to four years after downsizing. In order to investigate whether the groups changed their probability of purchases over time, odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated contrasting the prevalence of purchases during the first and the last 12-month period within four time periods for each exposure group. Results The odds of purchasing anxiolytics increased more for stayers (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06) and unemployed (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03-1.14) compared to unexposed before downsizing, and purchases continued to increase after downsizing for stayers. Among those without previous sickness absence, stayers increased their purchases of anxiolytics from the year before the event up to four years after the event. Trajectories for sedatives were similar but less pronounced. Conclusion This study indicates that being exposed to downsizing is associated with increased use of sedatives and anxiolytics, especially before the event, if the employee stays in the organization or becomes unemployed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 13, no 8, article id e0203433
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Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Work Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160058DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203433ISI: 000443388900125PubMedID: 30161241OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160058DiVA, id: diva2:1254463
Available from: 2018-10-09 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2019-12-09Bibliographically approved

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