Work disability following major organisational change: The Whitehall II study

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Unit of Epertise for Work Organizations, Helsinki, FIN-00250, Finland.
Journal of epidemiology and community health (Impact Factor: 3.5). 05/2010; 64(5). DOI: 10.1136/jech.2009.095158
Source: OAI


BACKGROUND: Privatisation and private sector practices have been increasingly applied to the public sector in many industrialised countries. Over the same period, long-term work disability has risen substantially. We examined whether a major organisational change--the transfer of public sector work to executive agencies run on private sector lines--was associated with an increased risk of work disability. METHODS: The study uses self-reported data from the prospective Whitehall II cohort study. Associations between transfer to an executive agency assessed at baseline (1991-1994) and work disability ascertained over a period of approximately 8 years at three follow-up surveys (1995-1996, 1997-1999 and 2001) were examined using Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS: In age- and sex-adjusted models, risk of work disability was higher among the 1263 employees who were transferred to an executive agency (HR 1.90, 95% CI 1.46 to 2.48) compared with the 3419 employees whose job was not transferred. These findings were robust to additional adjustment for physical and mental health and health behaviours at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Increased work disability was observed among employees exposed to the transfer of public sector work to executive agencies run on private sector lines. This may highlight an unintentional cost for employees, employers and society.

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    • " show increased mortality [ Martikainen et al . , 2008 ] , suggesting that long - term job stability may compensate for the more temporary stress of downsizing [ Siegrist et al . , 2011 ] . Privatization : One study of British civil servants , whose agency was privatized , showed a 90% elevated risk of work disability over 8 years of follow - up [ Virtanen et al . , 2010 ] . Another study showed increases in body mass index , ischemia , cholesterol , and , for women , blood pressure , but little change in health behaviors over 5 years of follow - up , compared to those who remained in the civil service [ Ferrie et al . , 1998 ] . A systematic review of 11 studies found some evidence of increases in stre"
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