Background: This study investigates the effect of gender role and the psychosocial work environment on the psychological well-being of hospital staff in two general hospitals in the province of Valencia (Spain).
Method: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 313 workers by means of a self-answered questionnaire. The outcome variable (psychological well-being) was evaluated with four dimensions of the "SF-36 Health Survey" (mental health, vitality, limitations in the emotional role and limitations in the social function). The explanatory variables were: characteristics related to gender role, professional characteristics and the psychosocial working environment evaluated according to Karasek and Johnson's demand-control-support model. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated by logistical regression.
Results: Those who have very good marital relationship have less risk of presenting bad mental health, OR 0.43 (0.24-0.78), and limitation in the social function, OR 0.43 (0.24-0.77), and in the emotional role, OR 0.35 (0.16-0.74). Those who dedicate more than 30 h a week to domestic chores have a higher risk of limitation of social function, OR 2.48 (1.16-5.31). Those exposed to high psychological demands present a higher probability of having bad mental health, OR 1.77 (1.04-3.00). Those exposed to low job social support have a higher risk of bad mental health, OR 1.86 (1.09-3.19), low vitality, OR 2.21 (1.30-3.77), and limitation in the social function, OR 1.88 (1.10-3.22).
Conclusion: Gender role and psychosocial work environment have a negative influence on the psychological well-being of hospital staff.