Imbalance of effort and reward at home and work leads to mental health problems and absence

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A nine-year study of 2,086 white-collar workers employed in public organisations in Quebec city has found that workers exposed to effort-reward imbalance at work had a higher risk of a first spell of medically certified absence for mental health problems compared with unexposed workers.

The effects seem to differ by gender. The study recommends that primary prevention aimed at reducing these stressors should be considered to help reduce the incidence of such severe mental health problems.

Ndjaboué R, Brisson C, Vézina M, Blanchette C, Bourbonnais R (2013). Effort-reward imbalance and medically certified absence for mental health problems: a prospective study of white-collar workers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, first published online 30 October 2013.

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