Effort reward imbalance is associated with vagal withdrawal in Danish public sector employees

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.
International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.88). 06/2011; 81(3):218-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.06.014
Source: PubMed


The current study analyzed the relationship between psychosocial work environment assessed by the Effort Reward Imbalance Model (ERI-model) and heart rate variability (HRV) measured at baseline and again, two years later, as this relationship is scarcely covered by the literature.
Measurements of HRV during seated rest were obtained from 231 public sector employees. The associations between the ERI-model, and HRV were examined using a series of mixed effects models. The dependent variables were the logarithmically transformed levels of HRV-measures. Gender and year of measurement were included as factors, whereas age, and time of measurement were included as covariates. Subject was included as a random effect.
Effort and effort reward imbalance were positively associated with heart rate and the ratio between low frequency (LF) and high frequency power (HF) and negatively associated with total power (TP) and HF. Reward was positively associated with TP.
Adverse psychosocial work environment according to the ERI-model was associated with HRV, especially in the form of vagal withdrawal and most pronounced in women.

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