Conference Paper

Comparing Work Ability and Psychosocial Factors among Workers from Municipal Services and a Control Center

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... The understanding of work ability, as the result of the interaction between individual resources and characteristics and contents of work [14], makes this concept a complex one to study. Despite the lack of studies on the characteristics of the work ability among cemetery workers, there are several studies regarding municipal workers [1,2,[15][16][17]. The longitudinal study done with municipal workers by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, over 28 years, showed that work strain and discomfort experienced during the work career will be reflected in work ability in the long run, with those experiencing high work strain in middle life being likely to report poor work ability in later life [1,15]. ...
... Our results indicated a high prevalence of unsatisfactory WAI scores (39.5%), when compared with [16,21]. Such a high prevalence of poor and moderate WAI was also found among female workers (40%), but on those over 55 years old, in a national Finnish study [15]. ...
... Additionally, the ageing process influences work ability and it is common that the WAI scores decline as a worker ages [1,14]. Frequently, a stronger decline is observed for those aged over 50 [16,30] and those experiencing high work strain and discomfort during their work careers [1]. Likewise, age was a predictor of WAI scores in our sample, explaining 6% of the variability. ...
Background: The work of cemetery workers presents high physical demands and significant psychosocial stressors, but there are no studies about the influence of these risk factors on their work ability. Objectives: The present study aims to analyse how socio-demographic and psychosocial factors are related to work ability among cemetery workers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was applied at seven cemeteries of Lisbon, between November and December of 2015. The response rate was 88.9% (n = 168). The survey involved socio-demographic data, the Work Ability Index, and COPSOQII. Multiple linear regression analysis, using the backward elimination stepwise method, was done to identify the significant predictors of work ability. Results: Results indicated a high prevalence of unsatisfactory WAI scores (39.5%), which, together with a mean age of 51 years showed these participants may have a high probability of being declared unfit for their current jobs. The main predictors of work ability were: general health, burnout, temporary work impairment, job satisfaction, age, and quality of leadership. Conclusions: The study highlights the relationship between age, health perception, work impairment, psychosocial variables, and work ability. This knowledge is crucial for the organization of occupational health programmes fitting the needs of cemetery workers and aiming at retaining these workers until the legal retirement age.
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