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A comparison of general and ambulance specific stressors: predictors of job satisfaction and health problems in a nationwide one-year follow-up study of Norwegian ambulance personnel

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Author(s): Sterud Tom | Hem Erlend | Lau Bjørn | Ekeberg Øivind

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Objectives To address the relative importance of general job-related stressors, ambulance specific stressors and individual characteristics in relation to job satisfaction and health complaints (emotional exhaustion, psychological distress and musculoskeletal pain) among ambulance personnel. Materials and methods A nationwide prospective questionnaire survey of ambulance personnel in operational duty at two time points (n = 1180 at baseline, T1 and n = 298 at one-year follow up, T2). The questionnaires included the Maslach Burnout Inventory, The Job Satisfaction Scale, Hopkins Symptom Checklist (SCL-10), Job Stress Survey, the Norwegian Ambulance Stress Survey and the Basic Character Inventory. Results Overall, 42 out of the possible 56 correlations between job stressors at T1 and job satisfaction and health complaints at T2 were statistically significant. Lower job satisfaction at T2 was predicted by frequency of lack of leader support and severity of challenging job tasks. Emotional exhaustion at T2 was predicted by neuroticism, frequency of lack of support from leader, time pressure, and physical demands. Adjusted for T1 levels, emotional exhaustion was predicted by neuroticism (beta = 0.15, p < .05) and time pressure (beta = 0.14, p < 0.01). Psychological distress at T2 was predicted by neuroticism and lack of co-worker support. Adjusted for T1 levels, psychological distress was predicted by neuroticism (beta = 0.12, p < .05). Musculoskeletal pain at T2 was predicted by, higher age, neuroticism, lack of co-worker support and severity of physical demands. Adjusted for T1 levels, musculoskeletal pain was predicted neuroticism, and severity of physical demands (beta = 0.12, p < .05). Conclusions Low job satisfaction at T2 was predicted by general work-related stressors, whereas health complaints at T2 were predicted by both general work-related stressors and ambulance specific stressors. The personality variable neuroticism predicted increased complaints across all health outcomes.
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