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Association of perceived workplace conditions with anxiety and depression in an investigation of Sick Building Syndrome.

Alterman T; Hurrell JJ; Almaguer D; Wall DK; Petersen MR; Blade LM; Krake AM
American Public Health Association 123rd Annual Meeting and Exhibition, San Diego, CA, October 29 - November 2, 1995. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 1995 Oct; :414
Several studies have suggested that psychological factors may play a large role in workers' reports of symptoms associated with Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). The current study examines the role of perceived environmental conditions, SBS symptoms, job characteristics, and psychosocial factors on symptoms of anxiety and depression in workers who process motor vehicle records. The investigation by NIOSH included a self administered questionnaire survey of 197 workers (97% participation rate) and an industrial hygiene survey. The questionnaire included items regarding workplace conditions, somatic symptoms, work organization, psychosocial, and psychological factors. Psychological questions included items from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD), and the anxiety subscale of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Logistic regression models showed that age (OR=3.0i-4.93, relative to <30 years old), too little air movement (OR=3.83; 95% CI=1.81-8.10), frequent use of a laser printer (OR=5.93; 95% CI=1.64-21.45), workload (OR=1.13; 95% CI=1.01 1.21), and role ambiguity (OR=1.11; 95% CI=1.01-1.21) were associated with symptoms of anxiety. Workload (OR=5.93; 95% CI=1.02-1.29) and role ambiguity (OR=1.12; 95% CI- 1.02-1.23) were associated with depressive symptoms. Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study, generalizability of results may be limited. Results show that workload and role ambiguity may contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression among workers reporting SBS.
Workplace-studies; Workplace-monitoring; Statistical-analysis; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-responses; Psychological-testing; Worker-health
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Public Health Association 123rd Annual Meeting and Exhibition, San Diego, CA, October 29 - November 2, 1995
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division