Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Standard

Unnecessary work tasks and mental health : a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers. / Madsen, Ida E H; Tripathi, Manisha; Borritz, Marianne; Rugulies, Reiner.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, Vol. 40, No. 6, 11.2014, p. 631-638.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Madsen, IEH, Tripathi, M, Borritz, M & Rugulies, R 2014, 'Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers', Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 631-638. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3453

APA

Madsen, I. E. H., Tripathi, M., Borritz, M., & Rugulies, R. (2014). Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 40(6), 631-638. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3453

Vancouver

Madsen IEH, Tripathi M, Borritz M, Rugulies R. Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2014 Nov;40(6):631-638. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3453

Author

Madsen, Ida E H ; Tripathi, Manisha ; Borritz, Marianne ; Rugulies, Reiner. / Unnecessary work tasks and mental health : a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers. In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2014 ; Vol. 40, No. 6. pp. 631-638.

Bibtex

@article{5343f56e171d4621b9e79b5338e09832,
title = "Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: According to the {"}stress-as-offense-to-self{"} perspective, work tasks that are considered unnecessary or unreasonable - so-called {"}illegitimate work tasks{"} - are likely to elicit stress-reactions. Previous studies, mostly cross-sectional, have shown that illegitimate tasks are associated with increased self-reported stress, cortisol, and counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we examine the prospective association between unnecessary work tasks, one type of illegitimate work tasks, and mental health among Danish human service workers. Further, we explore whether this association is modified by sex, age, occupational position, and baseline mental health status.METHODS: The data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires from 1351 Danish human service workers in three waves of data-collection during 1999-2005. We measured unnecessary work tasks by a single item, and assessed mental health using the 5-item mental health inventory from the Short form 36 questionnaire. We analyzed data using multi-level modeling, adjusting for potential confounding by sex, age, cohabitation, occupational position, and baseline mental health.RESULTS: Unnecessary work tasks were prospectively associated with a decreased level of mental health. This association was stronger for employees with poor baseline mental health and tended to be more pronounced among older employees. Among participants with poor baseline mental health, the association was explained by neither psychological demands nor decision latitude.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the prevention of unnecessary work tasks may benefit employee mental health, particularly among employees with pre-existing mental health problems.",
author = "Madsen, {Ida E H} and Manisha Tripathi and Marianne Borritz and Reiner Rugulies",
year = "2014",
month = "11",
doi = "10.5271/sjweh.3453",
language = "English",
volume = "40",
pages = "631--638",
journal = "Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health",
issn = "0355-3140",
publisher = "Tyoterveyslaitos",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Unnecessary work tasks and mental health

T2 - a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers

AU - Madsen, Ida E H

AU - Tripathi, Manisha

AU - Borritz, Marianne

AU - Rugulies, Reiner

PY - 2014/11

Y1 - 2014/11

N2 - OBJECTIVES: According to the "stress-as-offense-to-self" perspective, work tasks that are considered unnecessary or unreasonable - so-called "illegitimate work tasks" - are likely to elicit stress-reactions. Previous studies, mostly cross-sectional, have shown that illegitimate tasks are associated with increased self-reported stress, cortisol, and counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we examine the prospective association between unnecessary work tasks, one type of illegitimate work tasks, and mental health among Danish human service workers. Further, we explore whether this association is modified by sex, age, occupational position, and baseline mental health status.METHODS: The data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires from 1351 Danish human service workers in three waves of data-collection during 1999-2005. We measured unnecessary work tasks by a single item, and assessed mental health using the 5-item mental health inventory from the Short form 36 questionnaire. We analyzed data using multi-level modeling, adjusting for potential confounding by sex, age, cohabitation, occupational position, and baseline mental health.RESULTS: Unnecessary work tasks were prospectively associated with a decreased level of mental health. This association was stronger for employees with poor baseline mental health and tended to be more pronounced among older employees. Among participants with poor baseline mental health, the association was explained by neither psychological demands nor decision latitude.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the prevention of unnecessary work tasks may benefit employee mental health, particularly among employees with pre-existing mental health problems.

AB - OBJECTIVES: According to the "stress-as-offense-to-self" perspective, work tasks that are considered unnecessary or unreasonable - so-called "illegitimate work tasks" - are likely to elicit stress-reactions. Previous studies, mostly cross-sectional, have shown that illegitimate tasks are associated with increased self-reported stress, cortisol, and counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we examine the prospective association between unnecessary work tasks, one type of illegitimate work tasks, and mental health among Danish human service workers. Further, we explore whether this association is modified by sex, age, occupational position, and baseline mental health status.METHODS: The data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires from 1351 Danish human service workers in three waves of data-collection during 1999-2005. We measured unnecessary work tasks by a single item, and assessed mental health using the 5-item mental health inventory from the Short form 36 questionnaire. We analyzed data using multi-level modeling, adjusting for potential confounding by sex, age, cohabitation, occupational position, and baseline mental health.RESULTS: Unnecessary work tasks were prospectively associated with a decreased level of mental health. This association was stronger for employees with poor baseline mental health and tended to be more pronounced among older employees. Among participants with poor baseline mental health, the association was explained by neither psychological demands nor decision latitude.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the prevention of unnecessary work tasks may benefit employee mental health, particularly among employees with pre-existing mental health problems.

U2 - 10.5271/sjweh.3453

DO - 10.5271/sjweh.3453

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 25205073

VL - 40

SP - 631

EP - 638

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

SN - 0355-3140

IS - 6

ER -

ID: 137743336