Depressive symptoms and self-reported occupational injury in small and medium-sized companies

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009 May;82(6):715-21. doi: 10.1007/s00420-008-0365-6. Epub 2008 Oct 25.


Objectives: This survey was designed to determine whether depressive symptoms had an effect on the risk of self-reported occupational injury in South Korea.

Methods: We conducted a prospective follow-up survey of workers at 44 small- to medium-sized companies classified into manufacturing or service businesses; 1,350 questionnaires were used in the final analysis. The first survey requested information regarding personal characteristics, work characteristics, and depressive symptoms (CES-D); the second survey queried participants in the first survey about self-reported occupational injuries (including minor scratches or cuts) experienced in the previous 4 months. Risk ratios (RRs) were calculated through Poisson regression analysis. The number of occupational injuries during the previous 4 months served as the dependent variable, and depressive symptoms served as the independent variable.

Results: After adjustment for demographic factors, the RRs were 1.75 (95% CI: 1.41-2.18) and 2.68 (95% CI: 1.98-3.64) in male and female, respectively. Additional adjustment for work-related variables did not alter the RR considerably in females (2.65; 95% CI: 1.95-3.59). Among the male workers, however, the RR was not significant (1.21; 95% CI: 0.95-1.55). On the other hand, when the analysis was limited to blue-collar workers, after adjustment for demographic and work-related factors, the RRs remained significant in both genders (male: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.03-1.74; female: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.41-2.95).

Conclusions: We found that the risk of self-reported occupational injury experience was higher in workers who reported depressive symptoms. Additional study using objective data is required to confirm our results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology