[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the reliability and construct validity of a new version of the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (New BJSQ), which measures an extended set of psychosocial factors at work by adding new scales/items to the current version of the BJSQ. Additional scales/items were extensively collected from theoretical job stress models and similar questionnaires in several countries. Scales/items were field-tested and refined through a pilot internet survey. Finally, an 84-item questionnaire (141 items in total when combined with the current BJSQ) was developed. A nationally representative survey was administered to employees in Japan (n=1,633) to examine the reliability and construct validity. Most scales showed acceptable levels of internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Principal component analyses showed that the first factor explained 50% or greater proportion of the variance in most scales. A scale factor analysis and a correlation analysis showed that these scales fit the theoretical expectations. These findings provided a piece of evidence that the New BJSQ scales are reliable and valid. Although more detailed content and construct validity should be examined in future study, the New BJSQ is a useful instrument to evaluate psychosocial work environment and positive mental health outcomes in the current workplace.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research on the association between job strain or other job stressors and depressive disorders is still limited. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prospective association of job strain, role stressors and job insecurity with long-term sick leave due to depressive disorders.
A prospective study was conducted of a total of 15 256 men aged 18-67 years with no previous history of mental disorders employed in six manufacturing factories located in several regions of Japan. At baseline, they were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire, including self-reported measures of job strain, as well as its components (job overload and job control), role stressors (role ambiguity and role conflict), social support at work, job insecurity and other demographic and psychological covariates. During the follow-up, a long-term sick leave of 30 days or more due to depressive disorders was recorded.
During 5.14 years of follow-up on average, 47 incident cases of sick leave of 30 days or more due to depressive disorders were observed. High job control at baseline was associated with a lower risk of long-term sick leave due to depressive disorders, after adjusting for demographic variables, depressive symptoms and neuroticism at baseline (hazard ratio 0.28, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.71); high role ambiguity was associated with the higher risk (hazard ratio 3.49, 95% CI 1.43 to 8.49).
Job control and role ambiguity may be important predictors of long-term sick leave due to depressive disorders among male employees, independent of depressive symptoms and neuroticism.
Journal of epidemiology and community health 09/2009; 64(3):229-35. · 3.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the relationship between job stress and depressive symptoms has been well documented among workers in large scale enterprises, the situation in small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) is not fully understood.
To clarify the factors associated with depressive symptoms in SMEs in Japan.
1,516 male and 738 female Japanese workers at SMEs were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire. We applied hierarchical multiple linear regression with depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depressive Symptoms Scale) as the dependent variable, and (1) Individual, (2) Lifestyle, (3) Job stressors, and (4) SME unique factors as independent variables entered in 4 steps. Analyses were stratified by sex due to large differences in stress scores and demographic variables.
Perceived lack of understanding from others with regard to health was the strongest factor associated with increased depressive symptoms (BETA=0.29 in males and 0.28 in females). Higher intragroup conflict (BETA=0.15 in males and 0.09 in females), perceived job future ambiguity (BETA=0.09 in males and 0.11 in females), higher quantitative workload (BETA=0.06 in males and 0.10 in females), and being an employer or a member of the employer's family (BETA=0.06 in males and 0.10 in females) were additional factors associated with high depressive symptoms. Economic concern, being single, cigarette smoking, shorter sleep duration, and skill underutilization were male specific, while younger age and lower social support at work were female specific factors significantly associated with increased depressive symptoms.
These data suggest that poor mental health may be prevented by creating a workplace climate which focuses on the high value of the health of fellow workers.
Journal of Occupational Health 01/2009; 51(1):26-37. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to assess the association between job strain and smoking cessation among Japanese male employees. In 1997, a baseline questionnaire was given to 2,625 (2,113 males and 512 females) employees of an electronics firm in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The self-administered questionnaire was a set of questions on smoking habits and consisted of items on socio-demographic variables and smoking habits, including the Japanese version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). The JCQ consists of scales of job control, job demand, supervisory support, coworker support, job insecurity, physical demands, and isometric load. A total of 733 male smokers were then followed for 2 years, with 446 completing a follow-up questionnaire in 1999 (follow-up rate, 61%). Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine associations between job strain and smoking cessation. Among the 446 participants, 38 had quit smoking. After adjusting for age ((odds ratio: OR) = 0.38, 95% (contidence interval: CI) = 0.15-0.94), men with a high level of physical demands at baseline showed a lower smoking cessation rate at follow-up than did those with a low level. However, when adjustments were made for age and other socio-demographic variables, the odds ratio of smoking cessation showed marginal significance (OR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.16-1.29). There was no significant association between other job strain variables and smoking cessation at the 2-year follow-up. No significant association was found between job strain and change in the number of smoked cigarettes per day. The present study did not support the hypothesis that higher levels of job stressors are associated with a lower rate of smoking cessation among men.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between passive smoking and sleep is uncertain.
To examine the association of passive/active smoking with sleep disturbances.
732 women and 1,896 men, working in a suburb of Tokyo, were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire. Information on smoking, passive smoking exposure, and sleep was elicited. Exposure levels to passive smoking were assessed separately at work and at home as no, occasional, or regular exposure. Risk of sleep disturbances according to smoking status was estimated using logistic regression with odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as measures of association.
Compared to never smokers, odds of difficulty awakening in the morning (DAM) in current smokers were significantly higher for women (OR 1.95) and men (OR 1.50), while increased difficulty initiating sleep (OR 1.88) and decreased early morning awakening (OR 0.31) were found only in women. Never smoking men occasionally exposed to passive smoking at work but not at home had increased odds (OR 1.81) of short sleep duration (SSD, < 6 h) than unexposed counterparts.
The analyses suggest that exposure to passive smoking at work is associated with SSD in men, while current smoking relates to various subtypes of sleep disturbances in both sexes.
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 02/2008; 15(2):81-91. · 2.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have found that smoking is a strong factor that increases peripheral blood CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, most studies did not assess the cumulative long-life exposure of smoking on differential lymphocyte populations. In this study, to clarify the association of smoking habits and circulating lymphocytes, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 60 male current smokers. Smoking status was estimated by number of cigarettes smoked per day, smoking years, and Brinkman Index (BI) as calculated by multiplying the number of cigarettes smoked per day by the smoking years. Counts of CD4+CD45RO+CD69+ T and CD4+CD45RO+ T lymphocytes were strongly and positively correlated with BI and remained highly significant after controlling for alcohol drinking, leisure-time physical activity, and caffeine intake (r(p)>.465, p<.001). These lymphocytes were also significantly correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and smoking years, but the association was weaker than the BI. The findings suggest that the CD4+CD45RO+CD69+ T and CD4+CD45RO+ T lymphocytes are sensitive to cumulative effect of smoking, and may serve as a potential immuno-biomarker for active smoking.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the association of job stress with sleep-related breathing disturbance (SBD), a cross-sectional sample of 1940 males aged 17-83 (mean 45) years in 292 small and medium-sized enterprises in Japan were surveyed by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Perceived job stress was evaluated by the Japanese version of the Generic Job Stress Questionnaire developed by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which included 13 job stress variables. Participants were divided into thirds according to their job stress scores. SBD was assessed by the question "Have you ever felt difficulty breathing during sleep or has anyone in your family told you that you have such difficulty?" SBD was defined as presence of symptoms more than once a month. Risk of SBD through job stress was estimated using logistic regression with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as measures of association. Prevalence of study-defined SBD was 6.7%. Participants who perceived the lowest level of social support from supervisors, and highest levels of job future ambiguity, interpersonal conflict at the workplace, job dissatisfaction, variance in workload, and quantitative workload had significantly increased risk of SBD after adjusting for potential confounders. High depressive symptoms, as measured by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale scores of 16 or higher, were also significantly associated with increased SDB. Although the results should be considered preliminary because of the self-reporting and cross-sectional design, data suggest that exposure to high job stress could be a possible risk factor for developing or aggravating SBD. Results also indicate that job stress should be considered when evaluating SBD in occupational and clinical settings.
Social Science [?] Medicine 07/2007; 64(12):2520-32. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Associations between psychosocial work factors and sickness absence were investigated in a cross-sectional study of 833 daytime workers. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding psychosocial work factors using the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Generic Job Stress Questionnaire (job control, quantitative workload, cognitive demands, variance in workload, intragroup conflict, intergroup conflict, supervisor support, coworker support, family support, job satisfaction and depressive symptoms) and the number of days of sickness absence within the previous year. Multivariate analyses of covariance with age and occupation as covariates (MANCOVA) were used to test the relationships between psychosocial work factors and sickness absence stratified by sex. In men, the age-adjusted MANCOVA showed that, quantitative workload was highest in the 0.5-4.5 d of sickness absence group (p<0.001). However, the levels of stress reactions (job satisfaction and depressive symptoms) in this group were almost identical to the levels recorded in the no sickness absence group. In contrast, low levels of job control (p<0.01), supervisor support (p<0.05), and job satisfaction (p<0.01) and higher symptoms of depression (p<0.001) were associated with 5 d or more sickness absence. In women, only high job satisfaction was associated with 5 d or more sickness absence (p<0.10). This study suggests that appropriate use of sickness absence at times of being exposed to high quantitative workload may help male workers to recover from stressful situations.
Industrial Health 05/2007; 45(2):224-31. · 0.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Active smoking is a risk factor for occupational injury, whereas its association with passive smoking is unknown. To evaluate the contribution of active and passive smoking to non-fatal occupational injury in manufacturing sectors, 2302 randomly selected workers aged 16-83 years working in 244 small- and medium-scale enterprises in Yashio city, Japan, were surveyed by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Smoking history, exposure to passive smoking, and occupational injury were evaluated by self-report. Exposure levels to passive smoking were assessed separately at work and at home as never, occasional, or regular exposure. Overall, 61.4% of men and 22.3% of women were current smokers. Among never smokers, 62.2% of men and 68.6% of women reported exposure to passive smoking either at work or home. Prevalence of occupational injuries was 36.2% for never, 43.3% for former, and 41.2% for current smokers among men and 19.7% for never, 22.2% for former, and 25.2% for current smokers among women. Among never smoking men, odds ratios (ORs) of occupational injury were 2.11 when regularly exposed to passive smoking at work or at home (p=0.025), 2.27 at work (p=0.015), and 3.08 at home (p=0.106), in comparison to never smoking men who were never exposed to passive smoking either at work or at home (referent group). These associations were attenuated to be non-significant, after controlling for potential confounders. Never smoking men with occasional exposure to passive smoking were not significant ORs (1.11-1.19). In contrast, current and former smoking men had significant increases in adjusted ORs (1.57-2.00). In women exposed to smoking there was a non-significant increase in occupational injury. The present study indicates an expected increase in the risk of, occupational injury for current and former smoking men and suggests that exposure to passive smoking is a possible risk factor for never smoking men.
Social Science [?] Medicine 12/2006; 63(9):2452-63. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Workers involved in small-scale manufacturing businesses are known to comprise a high-risk population for occupational injury. The present study investigated the prevalence and correlates of occupational injury in this population. A self-administered questionnaire that solicited answers about occupational information including injury, demographic characteristics, health conditions and lifestyle factors was collected from a sample of 1,298 workers in 228 small-scale manufacturing enterprises (defined as fewer than 50 workers) aged 16-78 (mean 46) yr in Yashio city, Saitama, Japan (response rate 65.5%). The enterprises were randomly selected from the 2000 edition of the city commercial directory corresponding to the distribution of types of businesses in the city. Occupational injury was assessed by asking subjects, ;Have you ever been injured during your work, including minor scratches and cuts in the previous 1-yr period?' The possible response was either ;yes' or ;no.' The prevalence of study-defined occupational injury among the workers was 35.6% (male 43.0%, female 17.9%). Among job types, manufacturing (44.2%) and driving (43.5%) had high rates of occupational injuries. Similarly, occupational injuries were high in the papermaking (54.5%) and machinery (47.7%) industries. For males, younger age, current or former smoking, insomnia symptoms, and disease(s) currently under treatment were correlated with injury, whereas for females, being unmarried, higher educational status, and insomnia symptoms were the correlating factors. Occupational injury is common among small-scale manufacturing businesses, and is associated with multiple controllable factors. Countermeasures such as prohibiting smoking during work, sleep health education, job safety training for young/inexperienced workers are appropriate methods for eliminating or reducing injuries.
Journal of Occupational Health 10/2006; 48(5):366-76. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Workers involved in manufacturing are known to comprise a high-risk population for occupational injury, and this risk is greater in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this study was to examine the association between psychosocial job stress and occupational injuries among workers in SMEs.
One thousand forty-nine men and 721 women from 244 SMEs participated in this study. Perceived job stress was evaluated with the Japanese version of the generic job stress questionnaire, which covered 14 job stress variables. Occupational injury was assessed by self-report during the last 1-year period.
Workers with high quantitative workload (odds ratio [OR] = 1.55 for men, 1.62 for women), high cognitive demands (OR = 1.70 for men, 1.53 for women), and low job satisfaction (OR = 1.33 for men, 1.93 for women) had a significantly increased risk of occupational injury in the multivariate model. High variance in workload (OR = 1.70) and high job future ambiguity (OR = 1.35) in men, and low job control (OR = 2.04) and high intragroup conflict (OR = 1.66) in women were significantly associated with occupational injury. In manufacturing/production workers, high quantitative workload (OR = 1.91), high variance in workload (OR = 2.02), and high depressive symptoms (OR = 1.55) were significantly associated with injury in men, while low social support from colleagues (OR = 2.36) or family (OR = 2.51) was related to injury in women.
These data point to an independent relationship between psychosocial job stress and self-reported occupational injury in SMEs.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine 09/2006; 49(8):658-69. · 1.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased sleepiness at work is increasingly being focused on as a safety and health issue. However, research on workers' sleepiness is very limited in scope and the characteristics of work organization, including the impact of job stress, have not been fully addressed. A questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence of daytime sleepiness and its associated factors among non-shift working men at two manufacturing businesses: Company A, having a rapid rate of development and growth, with 564 workers (19-61 yr old, mean age: 32.7, response rate: 81.4%); and Company B, long established, possessing a huge production facility, with 1,654 workers (20-63 yr old, mean age: 37.1, response rate: 78.2%). The prevalence of daytime sleepiness was 11.3% in company A and 16.8% in company B. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that, in company A, perceived sleepiness was associated with long sleep duration on non-working days and high cognitive demands and, in company B, with insufficient daily sleep, single, and depression. Psychosomatic exhaustion resulting from jobs requiring high adaptivity due to rapid frequency of operational change as in company A may have the potential to become an important factor in perceived sleepiness. However, in a comparatively stable work organization, as in company B, increased sleepiness may be mainly linked to factors outside work. It is suggested that not only lifestyle and sleep habits, but also the characteristics and dynamics of a work organization should be a focus of attention when planning measures to prevent sleepiness at work.
Journal of Occupational Health 08/2006; 48(4):230-8. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Karolinska sleepiness scale (KSS) is frequently used for evaluating subjective sleepiness. The main aim of the present study was to investigate the validity and reliability of the KSS with electroencephalographic, behavioral and other subjective indicators of sleepiness.
Participants were 16 healthy females aged 33-43 (38.1+/-2.68) years. The experiment involved 8 measurement sessions per day for 3 consecutive days. Each session contained the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT), the Karolinska drowsiness test (KDT-EEG alpha & theta power), the alpha attenuation test (AAT-alpha power ratio open/closed eyes) and the KSS.
Median reaction time, number of lapses, alpha and theta power density and the alpha attenuation coefficients (AAC) showed highly significant increase with increasing KSS. The same variables were also significantly correlated with KSS, with a mean value for lapses (r=0.56).
The KSS was closely related to EEG and behavioral variables, indicating a high validity in measuring sleepiness.
KSS ratings may be a useful proxy for EEG or behavioral indicators of sleepiness.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined the effects of indoor exposure to natural bright light on afternoon sleepiness.
Participants took part in 3 experimental conditions: (1) a natural bright light condition in which they carried out performance and arousal tests sitting near a window (3260.0 +/- 1812.43 lux) from 12:40 PM to 1:10 PM, (2) a nap condition in which they were provided a nap opportunity for 20 minutes from 12:45 PM, and (3) a control condition in which they performed the tests in less than 100 lux surroundings from 12:40 PM to 1:10 PM. Before and after each treatment, the same series of tests were administered.
A temperature- and light-controlled sleep laboratory.
Sixteen healthy female paid volunteers aged 33 to 43 (38.1 +/- 2.68) years.
Indoor natural bright light and a short nap.
Arousal levels were measured by the Psychomotor Vigilance Task, Alpha Attenuation Test, Karolinska Drowsiness Test, and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. The tests were repeated every 30 minutes from 11:00 AM to 4:10 PM. Ambient light intensity was maintained at less than 100 lux, except during natural bright light exposure. Short-term exposure to natural bright light significantly improved afternoon arousal levels, as measured by the Karolinska Drowsiness Test and Alpha Attenuation Test, the effects of which continued for at least 60 minutes (1:10-2:10 PM). However, no significant differences were observed between conditions for Psychomotor Vigilance Test performance.
Brief indoor exposure to natural bright light may decrease afternoon sleepiness. This technique of light could be used in work settings in which napping is not permitted.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study is an investigation of the association between job stress, determined on the basis of a demand-control model or worksite social support at the baseline, and absence due to illness among employed Japanese males and females.
We analyzed 448 male and 81 female subjects who had taken no sick leave in the year preceding the baseline (1997) and observed them all until 1999. A self-administered questionnaire was the source information collected. It consisted of questions on socio-demographic variables, occupations, health-related behavior, a Japanese version of the Job Content Questionnaire, and the number of absences in the year preceding both the baseline and follow-up. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine how the characteristics of a job at the baseline affected sickness absence of 5 days or longer per year; controls were established for the gender, age, level of education completed, occupation, number of cigarettes smoked daily, and the amount of alcohol consumed weekly.
Compared to the lowest tertile of the ratio of demand to control (job strain), the highest tertile was significantly associated with an increased risk of sickness absence of 5 days or longer per year (odds ratio 3.02; 95%CI 1.00-9.16) at follow-up. The dose-response relationship was supported (p for trend <0.05). However, individual variables of job demand, job control, and worksite social support were not significantly associated with the risk of absence from illness.
The study provided prospective evidence that job strain leads to an increased risk of sick leave among Japanese employees.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 04/2006; 79(3):213-9. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The association of job strain (as defined by the job demands/control model) and worksite support with nutrient intake is not clear.
A questionnaire survey was conducted of 25,104 workers employed in nine companies in Japan. Job strain and worksite support were assessed using the Job Content Questionnaire. Daily intake of 17 nutrients was measured using a dietary history questionnaire. Data from 15,295 men and 2,853 women were analyzed, controlling for age, education, marital status, occupation, and study site.
Among men, job strain was positively associated with average daily intakes of fat, vitamin E, cholesterol, poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (p for trend<0.05), and worksite support was positively associated with average daily intakes of total energy, crude fiber, retinol, carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, cholesterol, and saturated fatty acid (p for trend<0.05). Among women, worksite support was positively associated with average daily intakes of total energy, protein, vitamin E, and polyunsaturated fatty acid (p for trend<0.05). However these differences were generally small.
The present study showed that job strain and worksite support were only weakly and inconsistently associated with nutritional intakes. It does not seem that changes in nutritional intakes explain the association between job strain or worksite support and coronary heart disease.
Journal of Epidemiology 04/2006; 16(2):79-89. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characteristics of work organization other than working time arrangements may contribute importantly to daytime sleepiness. The present study was designed to identify the psychosocial factors at work that predict daytime sleepiness in a sample of day and shift workers. Participants working at a pulp and chemical factory completed an annual questionnaire regarding psychosocial factors at work using the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Generic Job Stress Questionnaire (i.e., quantitative workload, variance in workload, job control, support from supervisor, coworkers, or family/friends, job satisfaction, and depressive symptoms), as well as daytime sleepiness (through the Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS]) and sleep disturbances for three years starting in 2002 (response rates, 94.6-99.0%). The present analysis included 55 day workers (11 women) and 57 shift workers (all men) who participated in all three years of the study, worked under the same work schedule throughout the study period, and had no missing data on any of the daytime sleep items. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the effects of work schedule (day vs. shift work) and psychosocial factors at work in 2002 on the ESS scores in subsequent years, with sleep duration, insomnia symptoms, chronic diseases, and sleepiness levels at baseline as covariates. Given significant and near-significant interactions of work schedules with psychosocial factor or study year, the ANCOVA, with the factors of psychosocial work characteristics and study year, was performed by type of work schedule. The results indicated a significant main effect of psychosocial work characteristics (p = 0.010, partial eng2 = 0.14) and an almost significant main effect of study year (p = 0.067, partial eng2 = 0.06) and interaction between psychosocial work characteristics and study year (p = 0.085, partial eng2 = 0.06) for variance in workload among the day work group. The day workers reporting high variance in workload in 2002 exhibited significantly higher ESS scores in 2003 and 2004 than did those reporting low variance in workload. The ANCOVA for the shift work group showed a main effect of psychosocial work characteristics for job satisfaction (p = 0.026, partial eng2 = 0.10) and depressive symptoms (p = 0.094, partial eng2 = 0.06) with the interaction between psychosocial work characteristics and study year for job satisfaction (p = 0.172, partial eng2 = 0.04) and depressive symptoms (p = 0.035, partial eng2 = 0.07). The shift workers with low job satisfaction and high symptoms of depression in 2002 showed significantly greater ESS scores in 2003 and/or 2004 than did those with opposite characteristics. These results may suggest a potential predictive value of variance in workload for day workers as well as job satisfaction and depressive symptoms for shift workers with respect to daytime sleepiness. The present findings may imply that redesigning these aspects of work environment would be of help in managing daytime sleepiness.
Chronobiology International 02/2006; 23(6):1409-22. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social support is supposed to have a positive health effect via alteration of immunity. In this study, associations between perceived social support and immune systems were examined. Immunological assessments, e.g. T cell count, Natural Killer cell count, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-4, and psychological assessments, e.g. Generic Job Stress Questionnaire were conducted on male employees. Two-way (social support x job stressor) analyses of covariance controlling for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, and exercise revealed that there were main effects of perceived social support on NK cell counts, IL-4, and Th1/Th2 balance. On the other hand, interaction effects were observed on T cell counts and INF-gamma production in vitro. Social support affects immune function in a way that is consistent with both the direct and buffering hypotheses depending on the sources of support and the immune parameter.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "The Checklist for Evaluation of Mental Health Activities at the Workplace" was developed for workplace staff evaluating mental health activities in their own workplace. The validity and reliability of the checklist were examined and criteria for evaluation were developed for workplace/organization/companies with 50 or more employees in Japan. The checklist initially included 33 items covering seven major domains of occupational mental health, with a four-point response option, based on the Japanese Guideline for Worker Mental Health in the Workplace and a relevant literature review. A questionnaire was send to 60 members of the Occupational Mental Health Committee (OMHC) of the Japan Society for Occupational Health to ask their opinions on the checklist and on the minimum requirement for each item on the checklist; 30 (50%) responded. A random sample of 1,335 workplaces from a contractor list of workplaces for worker compensation insurance and a questionnaire was send to the personnel department to fill in the checklist; 412 (31.5%) responded and data from 335 of them with 50 or more employees were analyzed. Some OMHC members felt that one of the items (concerning the Total Health Promotion program) should be dropped; thus the checklist was revised to include 32 items, still covering the seven domains. Based on the workplace survey data, most domain scales showed internal consistency reliability at an acceptable level; explanatory factor analysis yielded a four-factor structure that was well concordant with the hypnotized seven-domain structure. Three levels of adequacy of mental health activities were set for each domain scale: "red" (inadequate), "yellow" (minimal), and "green" (adequate). One third of occupational health professionals from 49 workplaces rated the evaluation result based on the checklist as concordant with their view; 95% of them said the checklist would be useful in promoting occupational mental health activities. The study indicated that the checklist had reliability (based on internal consistency reliability) and content- and construct-validity (based on expert opinions, a factor-structure concordant with empirical data, and evaluation by workplace staff). The checklist seems useful in promoting occupational mental health activities.