Psychosocial working conditions and the subjective prognosis of gainful employment among employees with asthma: a cross-sectional study

Katherina Heinrichs, Stefan Hummel, Jalal Gholami, Konrad Schultz, Burkhard Wild, Jian Li, Aziz Sheikh, Adrian Loerbroks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The present study set out to examine whether low job decision latitude (JDL, i.e., limited work autonomy) and low social support at work are related to a poor subjective prognosis of gainful employment (SPE) among working rehabilitants with asthma.

Methods: JDL and support were assessed by the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. The SPE was measured by a validated three-item scale. Separate logistic regression analyses were conducted for all variables to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Among the 221 participants (response rate = 29.3%), those reporting low JDL or low support had more than doubled odds of being unsure that they would be working until retirement age (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.19-4.37; OR = 2.78; 95% CI = 1.43-5.40, respectively) and of considering their work ability permanently at risk due to ill-health (OR = 3.89; 95% CI = 2.03-7.46; OR = 2.05; 95% CI = 1.08-3.90, respectively) compared to those with good working conditions. The associations of JDL or support were weaker with one's consideration to apply for premature pension (OR = 1.54; 95% CI = 0.60-3.98; OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 0.83-5.77, respectively). Additional analyses identified job satisfaction as a possible explanatory factor for the observed relationships.

Conclusions: Adverse psychosocial working conditions are related to a poor SPE, and low job satisfaction may explain those relationships. Future prospective research is needed to confirm our findings. Implications for rehabilitation Earlier research suggested that asthma increases the risk of disability retirement and thus causes high direct and indirect costs. Prior findings showed that adverse psychosocial working conditions are related to poorer asthma self-management and increased asthma morbidity among rehabilitants with asthma. Consistent with earlier work the present study found that job decision latitude and social support at work are associated with the subjective prognosis of gainful employment among working rehabilitants with asthma. If the reported findings are confirmed by prospective studies, interventions could be developed to improve the working conditions for rehabilitants with asthma and to thereby reduce their risk of disability retirement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and rehabilitation
Early online date14 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2019

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