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The impact of psychosocial and organizational working conditions on the mental health of female cleaning personnel in Norway

Author(s): Gamperiene Migle | Nygård Jan | Sandanger Inger | Wærsted Morten | Bruusgaard Dag

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

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 24;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background This study examined the association between psychosocial and organizational work conditions and mental health among women employed in the cleaning profession in Norway. Methods Self-report questionnaires were mailed to 661 cleaning staff personnel from seven cleaning organizations in seven different cities across Norway. The response rate was 64%, of which 374 (88%) respondents were women. The questionnaires assessed socio-demographic information and employment history, work organization, and psychosocial working conditions. The Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25) was included to assess mental health. Results On average, respondents were 43 years old and reported 10.8 years of experience working in the cleaning industry. The proportion of women scoring a HSCL-25 equal to or above 1.75 was 17.5%, which was higher than the average prevalence of mental health problems among working Norwegian women (8.4%). A factor analysis of the questions specific to the psychosocial work environment identified the following four underlying dimensions: leadership, co-workers, time pressure/control, and information/knowledge. Two of these, poor satisfaction with leadership (OR = 3.6) and poor satisfaction with co-workers (OR = 2.3), were significantly related to mental health. In addition, having contact with colleagues less than once a day (OR = 2.4) and not being ethnically Norwegian (OR = 3.0) increased the risk for mental health problems. Conclusion Mental health problems are frequent among female cleaning professionals in Norway. Our results indicate that quality of leadership, collaboration with co-workers, and ethnicity were significantly associated with mental health.
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