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Socio-demographic and work setting correlates of poor mental health in a population sample of working Victorians: application in evidence-based intervention priority setting
journal contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Tony LaMontagneTony LaMontagne, R D’Souza, C Shann
Interventions to promote mental health in the workplace are rapidly gaining acceptability as a means to prevent, screen, treat and effectively manage the growing disease burden of depression and anxiety among working people. The objective of this study was to identify socio-demographic and work setting correlates of poor mental health to consider alongside other evidence in priority setting for workplace mental health promotion (MHP). Multiple logistic regression was used to model the probability of poor mental health (SF-12) in relation to socio-demographic (gender, age, education, marital status and occupational skill level) and employment factors (workplace size and type, industrial sector, employment arrangement and working hours) in a population-based cross-sectional survey of 1051 working Victorians. As a result, poor mental health was (21% prevalence overall) higher in working females than in males and decreased with increasing age. Only one employment factor was significant in demographically adjusted multivariate analyses, showing an increase in the odds of poor mental health with increasing working hours. It is concluded that based on the prevalence of poor mental health, Victorian work settings with high proportions of younger workers, and younger working women in particular, should be prioritized for workplace MHP. Thus, together with other research demonstrating particularly poor psychosocial working conditions for young working women, sectors with an over-representation of this group (e.g. service sector) could be prioritized for workplace MHP alongside young and blue-collar males (also a priority due to low mental healthcare service use).