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Predictors of work ability in occupations with psychological stress

Vorhersage der Arbeitsfähigkeit in Berufen mit psychologischem Stress

Seibt, Reingard; Spitzer, Silvia; Blank, Matthes; Scheuch, Klaus


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Abstract Aim: This study aimed to detect health- and work-related predictors of poor and good work ability in teachers (TE) and office workers (OW). Method: Work ability and its influence factors were analyzed in 100 female TE and 60 female OW aged between 25 and 60 years. The work ability was evaluated with the work ability index questionnaire and the health status with the vitality measurement system®. In addition, cardiac risk factors, burnout risk, as well as the working demands and effort-reward ratio were taken into account. Predictors of work ability were analyzed by using a CHAID analysis. The number of complaints represents the best predictor to divide both occupational groups into subgroups with different work abilities (criterion variable). Results: Poor work ability is caused by many complaints and cardiovascular risk factors. By contrast, excellent work ability is associated with few complaints, the occupation “office workers,” a younger vital functional age, and the absence of burnout symptoms, which means in comparison with OW, TE have a 1.6 times higher risk for impaired work ability. Furthermore, the absence of burnout symptoms is a resource of TE, whereas OWs tend to have a younger vital functional age compared to their calendrical age. Although this analysis is able to explain 61.2% of the influence on impaired work ability, research for further causes must be undertaken. Conclusion: The results reflect the positive effect of a high educational level and a challenging job on the preservation of good work ability. Moreover, they draw the attention to the psychological and psychosocial strains of TE. TEs are exposed more frequently to feeling overstrained; this probably effects a higher retirement rate due to illness.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Federal Republic of Germany; primary school; teacher; office work; health consequences; health; psychophysical stress; psychological stress; comparison; risk; age; gender; personality; burnout; psychosomatic illness
Klassifikation Gesundheitspolitik; Berufsforschung, Berufssoziologie; Medizin, Sozialmedizin
Methode empirisch; empirisch-quantitativ
Freie Schlagwörter Work ability; Teacher; Office worker
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 9-18
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Public Health, 17 (2008) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-008-0194-9
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)