Is a single item stress measure independently associated with subsequent severe injury: a prospective cohort study of 16,385 forest industry employees

Simo Salminen, Anne Kouvonen, Aki Koskinen, Matti Joensuu, Ari Väänänen

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    Abstract

    Background: A previous review showed that high stress increases the risk of occupational injury by three- to five-fold. However, most of the prior studies have relied on short follow-ups. In this prospective cohort study we examined the effect of stress on recorded hospitalised injuries in an 8-year follow-up.
    Methods: A total of 16,385 employees of a Finnish forest company responded to the questionnaire. Perceived stress was measured with a validated single-item measure, and analysed in relation recorded hospitalised injuries from 1986 to 2008. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models to examine the prospective associations between work stress, injuries and confounding factors.
    Results: Highly stressed participants were approximately 40% more likely to be hospitalised due to injury over the follow-up period than participants with low stress. This association remained significant after adjustment for age, gender, marital status, occupational status, educational level, and physical work environment.
    Conclusions: High stress is associated with an increased risk of severe injury.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number543
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Volume14
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 02 Jun 2014

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