[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Social support is associated with better health. However, only a limited number of studies have examined the association of social support with health from the adult life course perspective and whether this association is bidirectional.
Participants (n=6797; 30% women; age range from 40 to 77 years) who were followed from 1989 (phase 2) to 2006 (phase 8) were selected from the ongoing Whitehall II Study. Structural and functional social support was measured at follow-up phases 2, 5 and 7. Mental and physical health was measured at five consecutive follow-up phases (3-8).
Social support predicted better mental health, and certain functional aspects of social support, such as higher practical support and higher levels of negative aspects in social relationships, predicted poorer physical health. The association between negative aspects of close relationships and physical health was found to strengthen over the adult life course. In women, the association between marital status and mental health weakened until the age of approximately 60 years. Better mental and physical health was associated with higher future social support.
The strength of the association between social support and health may vary over the adult life course. The association with health seems to be bidirectional.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of epidemiology and community health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individually taylored and attached to work. An evalutation study of the Finnish Social Insurance Instute's development Project on Work Related Rehabilitation.
Abstract in English: https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/156981
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The association between the psychosocial work environment, including job demands, job control, and organizational justice, and employee wellbeing has been well established. However, the exposure to adverse work environments is typically measured only using self-reported measures that are vulnerable to reporting bias, and thus any associations found may be explained by reverse causality. Using linear regression models and cross-lagged structural equation modeling (SEM), we tested the direction of the association between established job stress models (job demand control and organizational justice models) and 3 wellbeing indicators (psychological distress, sleeping problems, and job satisfaction) among 1524 physicians in a 4-year follow-up. Results from the longitudinal cross-lagged analyses showed that the direction of the association was from low justice to decreasing wellbeing rather than the reverse. Although the pattern was similar in job demands and job control, a reciprocal association was found between job control and psychological distress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Work done in the emergency departments is one stressful aspect of physicians' work. Numerous previous studies have highlighted the stressfulness of on-call work and especially of night on call. In addition, previous studies suggest that there may be individual differences in adjusting to changes in circadian rhythms and on-call work. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine whether physicians' on-call work is associated with perceived work-related stress factors and job resources and whether there are groups that are more vulnerable to on-call work according to sex, age, and specialization status. Methods This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study among 3230 Finnish physicians (61.5% women). The analyses were conducted using analyses of covariance adjusted for sex, age, specialization status, and employment sector. Results: Physicians with on-call duties had more time pressure and stress related to team work and patient information systems compared with those who did not have on-call duties. In addition, they had less job control opportunities and experienced organization as less fair and team climate as worse. Older physicians and specialists seemed to be especially vulnerable to on-call work regarding stress factors, whereas younger and specialist trainees seemed vulnerable to on-call work regarding job resources. Conclusions: Focusing on team issues and resources is important for younger physicians and trainees having on-call duties, whereas for older and specialists, attention should be focused on actual work load and time pressure.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · American Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The association between psychosocial work environment and employee wellbeing has repeatedly been shown. However, as environmental evaluations have typically been self-reported, the observed associations may be attributable to reporting bias.
Applying instrumental-variable regression, we used staffing level (the ratio of staff to residents) as an unconfounded instrument for self-reported job demands and job strain to predict various indicators of wellbeing (perceived stress, psychological distress and sleeping problems) among 1525 registered nurses, practical nurses and nursing assistants working in elderly care wards.
In ordinary regression, higher self-reported job demands and job strain were associated with increased risk of perceived stress, psychological distress and sleeping problems. The effect estimates for the associations of these psychosocial factors with perceived stress and psychological distress were greater, but less precisely estimated, in an instrumental-variables analysis which took into account only the variation in self-reported job demands and job strain that was explained by staffing level. No association between psychosocial factors and sleeping problems was observed with the instrumental-variable analysis.
These results support a causal interpretation of high self-reported job demands and job strain being risk factors for employee wellbeing.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · The European Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
In many developed countries, including Finland, health care authorities customarily consider the international mobility of physicians as a means for addressing the shortage of general practitioners (GPs). This study i) examined, based on register information, the numbers of foreign-born physicians migrating to Finland and their employment sector, ii) examined, based on qualitative interviews, the foreign-born GPs’ experiences of accessing employment and work in primary care in Finland, and iii) compared experiences based on a survey of the psychosocial work environment among foreign-born physicians working in different health sectors (primary care, hospitals and private sectors).
Three different data sets were used: registers, theme interviews among foreign-born GPs (n = 12), and a survey for all (n = 1,292; response rate 42%) foreign-born physicians living in Finland. Methods used in the analyses were qualitative content analysis, analysis of covariance, and logistic regression analysis.
The number of foreign-born physicians has increased dramatically in Finland since the year 2000. In 2000, a total of 980 foreign-born physicians held a Finnish licence and lived in Finland, accounting for less than 4% of the total number of practising physicians. In 2009, their proportion of all physicians was 8%, and a total of 1,750 foreign-born practising physicians held a Finnish licence and lived in Finland. Non-EU/EEA physicians experienced the difficult licensing process as the main obstacle to accessing work as a physician. Most licensed foreign-born physicians worked in specialist care. Half of the foreign-born GPs could be classified as having an ‘active’ job profile (high job demands and high levels of job control combined) according to Karasek’s demand-control model. In qualitative interviews, work in the Finnish primary health centres was described as multifaceted and challenging, but also stressful.
Primary care may not be able in the long run to attract a sufficient number of foreign-born GPs to alleviate Finland’s GP shortage, although speeding up the licensing process may bring in more foreign-born physicians to work, at least temporarily, in primary care. For physicians to be retained as active GPs there needs to be improvement in the psychosocial work environment within primary care.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Human Resources for Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: International mobility of health care professionals is increasing, though little is known about how working in a culturally diverse team affects the native physicians’ psychosocial work environment. We examined Finnish physicians’ perceptions of work-related wellbeing according to whether they had foreign-born colleagues (FBCs) in their work unit. We also examined whether work-related resources moderate the potential association between work-related wellbeing and working alongside FBCs. A cross-sectional survey was conducted for a random sample of physicians in Finland in 2010 (3826 respondents, response rate 55%). Analyses were restricted to native Finnish physicians working in public health care. The results were analyzed by ANCOVA. In unadjusted analyses, having FBCs was related to poor team climate (p < 0.001) and poor job satisfaction (p = 0.001). Those physicians who reported high procedural justice and high job control perceived also higher job satisfaction even if they had many FBCs in the work unit (p = 0.007 for interaction between FBCs and procedural justice and p<.001 for interaction between FBCs and job control). These associations were robust to adjustments for age, sex, health care sector, specialization, on-call duty, employment contract, full-time employment and leadership position. The results indicate that culturally diverse work units face challenges related to team climate and job satisfaction. The results also show that leadership plays an important role in culturally diverse work units. The potential challenges of culturally diverse teams for native physicians may be reduced by fair decision-making and by increasing physicians’ job control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although international migration of physicians is increasing, research information on their adjustment to working in a new country is scarce. This study examined the differences in employment, perceptions of psychosocial work environment and well-being between migrant and native physicians in Finland.
A cross-sectional survey was sent to a random sample of physicians in Finland (N = 7000) and additionally to all foreign-born physicians licensed to practice in Finland (N = 1292). The final response rates were 56% (n = 3646) among native Finns and 43% (n = 553) among foreign-born physicians.
Migrant physicians worked more often in primary care and on-call services and less often in leadership positions than native Finns. They more often experienced lack of professional support and lower work-related well-being compared with native Finns. Those migrant physicians who had lived for a shorter time in Finland perceived less stress related to electronic patient records systems and higher organizational justice compared with native physicians or those foreign physicians who had migrated earlier.
Foreign-born physicians are more often employed in the primary care sector, where there are most difficulties in recruiting from the native workforce in Finland. Attention should be paid to enhancing equitable career opportunities and well-being among foreign-born physicians working in Finnish health care. Although migrant physicians are relatively well adjusted to Finnish health care in terms of perceptions of psychosocial work environment, their lower well-being calls for attention.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · The European Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Previous studies suggest that psychiatrists may be more stressed than other medical specialists and mental health professionals. This study examined differences in stress factors, job resources, psychological distress, and job satisfaction between psychiatrists and other medical specialists. In addition, the study examined whether stress factors or job resources accounted for possible differences between the groups in psychological distress or job satisfaction.
In 2010, the authors obtained cross-sectional, Web-based survey data from a random sample of 2,776 Finnish physicians, including 1,647 women (59%), ranging in age from 25 to 69 years old. Comparisons between the two groups used analyses of covariance adjusted for gender, age, and employment sector.
Psychiatrists were less satisfied with their jobs, felt more stressed about patients, and experienced more psychological distress compared with other medical specialists. However, psychiatrists had more opportunities to control their jobs and better team climate compared with other medical specialists. High psychological distress among psychiatrists was partly accounted for by high patient-related stress. The differences in psychological distress and job satisfaction between the two groups were not accounted for by work-family conflicts or optimism.
It is important to try to alleviate the high levels of patient-related stress among psychiatrists and to further increase their job resources. Doing so may enhance the attractiveness of psychiatry as a specialty choice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined whether organizational justice is associated with sleep quality and performance in a population-based sample of 1,729 Finnish registered nurses working full time. In addition, we tested psychological mechanisms mediating the potential association. The results of multivariate linear regression analyses showed higher organizational justice to be associated with fewer sleeping problems (β values range from -.20 to -.11) and higher self-reported performance (β values range from .05 to .35). Furthermore, psychological distress (related to the psychological stress model) and job involvement (related to the psychosocial resource model) mediated the association between organizational justice and sleep. Sleeping problems partly mediated the association between organizational justice and performance. Psychological distress explained 51% to 83% and job involvement explained 10% to 15% of the total effects of justice variables on sleeping problems. The findings provide support for the psychological stress model and offer practical implications for reducing nurses' sleeping problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Menorrhagia is a common problem impairing the quality of life (QoL) of many women. Both levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) and hysterectomy are effective treatment modalities but no long-term comparative studies of QoL and costs exist. The objective of this study was to compare QoL and costs of LNG-IUS or hysterectomy in the treatment of menorrhagia during 10 years follow-up.
A total of 236 women, aged 35-49 years, referred for menorrhagia to five university hospitals in Finland were randomly assigned to treatment with LNG-IUS (n=119) or hysterectomy (n=117) and were monitored for 10 years. The main outcome measures were health-related quality of life (HRQoL), psychosocial well-being, and cost-effectiveness.
221 (94%) women were followed for 10 years. Although 55 (46%) women assigned to the LNG-IUS subsequently underwent hysterectomy, the overall costs in the LNG-IUS group ($3423) were substantially lower than in the hysterectomy group ($4937). Overall, levels of HRQoL and psychosocial well-being improved during first 5 years but diminished between 5 years and 10 years and the improved HRQoL returned close to the baseline level. There were no significant differences between LNG-IUS and hysterectomy groups.
Both LNG-IUS and hysterectomy improved HRQoL. The improvement was most striking during the first 5 years. Although many women eventually had hysterectomy, LNG-IUS remained cost-effective.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
Physicians' high dropout rate is a significant problem in primary care in many countries. One solution to this issue is to recruit internationally mobile physicians. This study explores the role of psychosocial factors in explaining intention to leave among GPs including potential differences between foreign-born and Finnish GPs.
A cross-sectional questionnaire was sent to randomly-selected Finnish physicians (n = 7000) and all foreign-born physicians (n = 1297) living in Finland in the year 2010. The questionnaire was returned by 4333 physicians, of whom 832 were GPs. Of those 176 were foreign-born GPs.
Intention to leave was more common among foreign-born GPs (59%) than among Finnish GPs (52%). High job demands were associated with higher intention to leave from primary care both in foreign-born (OR 1.90) and Finnish GPs (OR 2.20). This association remained among foreign-born GPs after adjusted the model for the country of origin or the reason for migration (OR 1.80, 1.82). Lack of job control, patient-related stress, and stresses related to teamwork were associated with higher intention to leave only among Finnish GPs (ORs 0.45, 1.75 and 1.99).
There may be cultural differences in the psychosocial factors that enhance or prevent job involvement among physicians. Thus, novel thinking is needed in organizational development of GP work in order to better understand foreign-born physicians' specific needs in a target country. This study also suggests that lightening workload could help to attract more GPs, both foreign-born and Finnish, to primary care.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined whether job resources (job control, social support, and distributive justice) moderate the associations of high job demands induced by physical and mental workload with musculoskeletal symptoms among geriatric nurses. The data were drawn in Finland from 975 female nurses working in 152 geriatric units who responded to a survey questionnaire. Information on the objective workload in terms of resident characteristics and structural factors was also collected at the unit level. After adjusting for the objective workload, multilevel logistic regression analyses showed that self-reported physical workload was associated with higher risk of musculoskeletal symptoms (OR = 1.93, 95 % CI [1.38, 2.72]) among nurses with low social support. In addition, mental workload was associated with higher risk of musculoskeletal symptoms (OR = 1.72, 95% CI [1.12, 2.62]) for those with low distributive justice. The results suggest that social support and fair reward systems may help to buffer against the detrimental effects of heavy job demands on nurses' musculoskeletal symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
We examined the effects of leaving public sector general practitioner (GP) work and of taking a GP position on changes in work-related psychosocial factors, such as time pressure, patient-related stress, distress and work interference with family. In addition, we examined whether changes in time pressure and patient-related stress mediated the association of employment change with changes of distress and work interference with family.
Participants were 1705 Finnish physicians (60% women) who responded to surveys in 2006 and 2010. Analyses of covariance were conducted to examine the effect of employment change to outcome changes adjusted for gender, age and response format. Mediational effects were tested following the procedures outlined by Baron and Kenny.
Employment change was significantly associated with all the outcomes. Leaving public sector GP work was associated with substantially decreased time pressure, patient-related stress, distress and work interference with family. In contrast, taking a position as a public sector GP was associated with an increase in these factors. Mediation tests suggested that the associations of employment change with distress change and work interference with family change were partially explained by the changes in time pressure and patient-related stress.
Our results showed that leaving public sector GP work is associated with favourable outcomes, whereas taking a GP position in the public sector is associated with adverse effects. Primary health-care organizations should pay more attention to the working conditions of their GPs, in particular, to time pressure and patient-related stress.
Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · The European Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) are commonly used in population studies as measures of depression. We examined in a population sample the validity of four scales for depressive symptoms, the GHQ-12, the 21- and 13-item versions of the BDI, and a new 6-item version of the BDI developed for this study. A total of 5561 participants in the "Health 2000" survey (30-79 years) completed the four scales and were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), which was used as the validation criterion. We selected items for the BDI-6 through an exploratory factor analysis for the BDI-21. The accuracy of the scales, including the BDI-6, was satisfactory (c-statistics 0.88-0.92 for depression within the past 2 weeks and 0.80-0.83 within the past 12 months) and slightly better for men (0.92-0.96 and 0.85-0.87) than for women (0.86-0.88 and 0.78-0.79). Higher scores in all the scales were associated with more severe depression and more recent depressive episodes. This study suggests that various versions of the BDI and the GHQ-12 are useful in detecting depressive disorders in the general population. Even the 6-item version of the BDI showed acceptable criterion validity, although replication in an independent dataset is needed to confirm its validity.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Psychiatry Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to study the role of menopausal status and physical activity on quality of life.
A total of 1,165 Finnish women aged 45-64 years from a national representative population-based study were followed up for 8 years. Study participants completed the Health 2000 study questionnaire and follow-up questionnaire in 2008. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to measure the effect of menopausal status on global quality of life (QoL). Other variables included in the analyses were age, education, change of physical activity as assessed with metabolic equivalents, change of weight and hormone therapy (HRT) use.
Peri- and postmenopausal women increased their physical activity (28% and 27%) during the eight-year follow up period slightly more often than premenopausal (18%) women (p = 0.070). Menopausal status was not significantly correlated with change of QoL. QoL of the most highly educated women was more likely to improve than among the less educated (eb = 1.28, 95%CI 1.08 to 1.51 p = 0.002). Women whose physical activity increased or remained stable had greater chances for improved QoL than women whose physical activity decreased (eb = 1.49, 95%CI 1.23 p < 0.001 to 1.80, eb = 1.46, 95%CI 1.24 to 1.73 p < 0.001 respectively). Women whose weight remained stable during follow-up also improved their QoL compared to women who gained weight (eb = 1.26, 95%CI 1.07 to 1.50 p > 0.01). Women who had never used HRT had 1.26 greater odds for improved QoL (95%CI 1.02 to 1.56 p = < 0.05).
Improvement of global QoL is correlated with stable or increased physical activity, stable weight and high education, but not with change in menopausal status.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the well-being differences among physicians working in different health care sectors and to test whether psychosocial stressors account for these differences. The well-being indicators used were psychological distress, self-rated health, and work ability.
A total of 2,841 randomly selected Finnish physicians (response rate 57 percent) returned the postal questionnaire, of which 2,047 (1,241 women) fulfilled all the participant criteria.
This is a cross-sectional questionnaire study.
General practitioners and medical specialists experienced lower well-being than private physicians and this difference was partly explained by differences in psychosocial stressors.
General practitioners and medical specialists report more problems in well-being than private physicians. It is of particular importance to be aware of the sector-specific difficulties in work environments.
No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Health Services Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop and test the validity of a short version of the original questionnaire measuring organizational justice.
The study samples comprised working physicians (N = 2792) and registered nurses (n = 2137) from the Finnish Health Professionals study. Structural equation modelling was applied to test structural validity, using the justice scales. Furthermore, criterion validity was explored with well-being (sleeping problems) and health indicators (psychological distress/self-rated health).
The short version of the organizational justice questionnaire (eight items) provides satisfactory psychometric properties (internal consistency, a good model fit of the data). All scales were associated with an increased risk of sleeping problems and psychological distress, indicating satisfactory criterion validity.
This short version of the organizational justice questionnaire provides a useful tool for epidemiological studies focused on health-adverse effects of work environment.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper is a report of an investigation into whether insecure work contract and shiftwork are associated with reduced wellbeing indicators, such as psychological distress, low job involvement and low work ability.
Insecure work contracts and shiftwork have repeatedly been found to contribute to the development and continuation of negative outcomes among healthcare professionals. In particular, nurses are generally considered as being at high risk of work-related stress and reduced wellbeing.
Cross-sectional survey data from the Finnish Health Care Professional Study collected in 2006 were used. The random sample of Finnish Registered Nurses comprised 2100 women and men aged 22-65 years. Information on the work contract and shiftwork were self-reported. The wellbeing indicators used were psychological distress (GHQ-12), work ability and job involvement. Psychosocial work characteristics were measured using the Job Content Questionnaire and an organizational justice scale.
Variance and linear regression analyses showed that insecure work contract was associated with lower work ability and job involvement. Shiftwork was related to psychological distress, low job involvement and low work ability. Support for a mediating role of job demands and job control and a moderating role of relational justice was obtained.
To reduce the negative effects of environmental stressors, such as insecure work contract and shiftwork, it may be better to focus on improving psychosocial work characteristics than on nurses' health-related behaviour.
No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of Advanced Nursing
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Finland, electronic decision support is evolving from searchable knowledge bases toward integration of the
knowledge modules into the electronic health record in the Evidence‐Based Medicine electronic Decision Support
project. We conducted a baseline survey on the extent of use of second‐generation decision support (electronic
databases) by the various categories of health care professionals. The results showed that the majority of health
care professionals used the electronic databases in their clinical practice; more than 80% of participating physicians,
registered nurses, public health nurses, and ward nurses used at least four databases. In addition, the respondents
considered these databases clinical useful in their practice. This indicates that health care professionals
seem to be ready for the third‐generation clinical decision support system, producing, for example, automatic
Keywords: evidence‐based medicine, guideline, database, clinical decision support systems