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Does good leadership buffer effects of high emotional demands at work on risk of antidepressant treatment? A prospective study from two Nordic countries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Epidemiologi)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Epidemiologi)
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2014 (English)In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, ISSN 0933-7954, E-ISSN 1433-9285, Vol. 49, no 8, 1209-1218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: Emotionally demanding work has been associated with increased risk of common mental disorders. Because emotional demands may not be preventable in certain occupations, the identification of workplace factors that can modify this association is vital. This article examines whether effects of emotional demands on antidepressant treatment, as an indicator of common mental disorders, are buffered by good leadership.

METHODS: We used data from two nationally representative work environment studies, the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study (n = 6,096) and the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (n = 3,411), which were merged with national registers on antidepressant purchases. All individuals with poor self-reported baseline mental health or antidepressant purchases within 8.7 months before baseline were excluded, and data analysed prospectively. Using Cox regression, we examined hazard ratios (HRs) for antidepressants in relation to the joint effects of emotional demands and leadership quality. Buffering was assessed with Rothman's synergy index. Cohort-specific risk estimates were pooled by random effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: High emotional demands at work were associated with antidepressant treatment whether quality of leadership was poor (HR = 1.84, 95 % CI 1.32-2.57) or good (HR = 1.70, 95 % CI 1.25-2.31). The synergy index was 0.66 (95 % CI 0.34-1.28).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that good leadership does not substantially ameliorate any effects of emotional demands at work on employee mental health. Further research is needed to identify possible preventive measures for this work environment exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 49, no 8, 1209-1218 p.
Keyword [en]
Work, Stress, Mental health, Common mental disorder, Depression
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106162DOI: 10.1007/s00127-014-0836-xISI: 000339894400004PubMedID: 24554122Local ID: P-3147OAI: diva2:735209
Available from: 2014-07-24 Created: 2014-07-24 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Hanson Magnusson, LindaTheorell, TöresWesterlund, Hugo
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