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Subjective Cognitive Complaints in the Working Population: The Influence of Objective Cognitive Functioning and Working Conditions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cognitive functioning is important for managing work and life in general. However, subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), involving self-perceived difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making, and clear thinking are common in the general and in the working population and can be coupled with both lowered well-being and work ability. The present thesis investigated the extent to which SCC among people in the work force can be explained by objective cognitive functioning (study I & II) and working conditions (study III), utilizing samples from the working population. The potential roles of other common psychological problems which often co-occur with SCC were also investigated in studies I-III.

In Study I, high levels of SCC were associated with significantly poorer episodic memory performance during high executive demands and a trend was found towards poorer episodic memory, while not being associated with semantic memory. In Study II, high levels of SCC were associated with significantly poorer executive cognitive performance on all three executive cognitive tests used. Symptoms of depression, chronic stress and sleeping problems were found to play an important role in the relations between SCC and episodic memory during divided attention in study I and executive cognitive functioning in study II. In Study III, in all cross-sectional data analyses, high quantitative demands, information and communication technology (ICT) demands, underqualification in the work situation and inter-personal conflicts were positively associated with SCC, whereas social support, good resources at work and overqualification in the work situation were negatively associated with SCC. In all prospective data analyses, quantitative job demands, ICT demands and underqualification were positively associated with future SCC, including when adjusted for baseline cognitive complaints.

The findings may guide prevention of and interventions for SCC among people in the work force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2013. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
Subjective cognitive complaints, cognitive functioning, declarative memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, working memory, executive cognitive functioning, psychosocial working conditions, demand-control-support model, population-based
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95797ISBN: 978-91-7447-809-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95797DiVA: diva2:661638
Public defence
2013-12-13, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Accepted.

Available from: 2013-11-21 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2013-12-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Are Subjective Cognitive Complaints Related to Poorer Memory Functioning in the Working Population? A Case-Control Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are Subjective Cognitive Complaints Related to Poorer Memory Functioning in the Working Population? A Case-Control Study
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(English)In: BMC Psychology, ISSN 2050-7283Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95794 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
2. Subjective Cognitive Complaints in the Working Population - The Role of Executive Cognitive Functioning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subjective Cognitive Complaints in the Working Population - The Role of Executive Cognitive Functioning
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(English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95792 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Psychosocial Working Conditions and Cognitive Complaints among Swedish Employees
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychosocial Working Conditions and Cognitive Complaints among Swedish Employees
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 4, e60637- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Cognitive complaints involving problems with concentration, memory, decision-making and thinking are relatively common in the work force. The sensitivity of both subjective and objective cognitive functioning to common psychiatric conditions, stress levels and to cognitive load makes it plausible that psychosocial working conditions play a role in cognitive complaints. Thus, this study aimed to test the associations between psychosocial work factors and cognitive complaints in nationally representative samples of the Swedish work force. Cross-sectional (n = 9751) and prospective (n = 3644; two time points two years apart) sequential multiple regression analyses were run, adjusting for general confounders, depressive-and sleeping problems. Additional prospective analyses were run adjusting for baseline cognitive complaints. Cross-sectional results: High quantitative demands, information and communication technology (ICT) demands, underqualification and conflicts were positively associated with cognitive complaints, while social support, good resources at work and overqualification were negatively associated with cognitive complaints in all models. Skill discretion and decision authority were weakly associated with cognitive complaints. Conflicts were more strongly associated with cognitive complaints in women than in men, after adjustment for general confounders. Prospective results: Quantitative job demands, ICT demands and underqualification were positively associated with future cognitive complaints in all models, including when adjusted for baseline cognitive complaints. Decision authority was weakly positively associated with future cognitive complaints, only after adjustment for depressive-and sleeping problems respectively. Social support was negatively associated with future cognitive complaints after adjustment for general confounders and baseline cognitive complaints. Skill discretion and resources were negatively associated with future cognitive complaints after adjustment for general confounders. The associations between quantitative demands and future cognitive complaints were stronger in women. Discussion/Conclusions: The findings indicate that psychosocial working conditions should be taken into account when considering cognitive complaints among employees.

National Category
Psychology Sociology Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89710 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0060637 (DOI)000316930900072 ()
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Funding agencies:

Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research 2009-0764 Afa Insurance 090283;

Available from: 2013-05-08 Created: 2013-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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