Influence of occupational stress on mental health among Chinese off-shore oil workers

Scand J Public Health. 2009 Sep;37(7):766-73. doi: 10.1177/1403494809341097. Epub 2009 Jul 9.


Aim: To explore the influence of occupational stress on mental health in off-shore oil production.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 561 Chinese off-shore oil workers. The workers were invited to fill in a self-administered questionnaire exploring their socio-demographic characteristics, occupational stress levels, and 12-item general health questionnaire. A hierarchical multiple regression procedure was used to assess the effects of occupational stress on mental health.

Results: After controlling for age, educational level, marital status and years of off-shore work, poor mental health was found to have a significant positive association with seven of the nine identified sources of occupational stress. They were: conflict between job and family/social life, poor development of career and achievement at work, safety problems at work, management problems and poor relationship with others at work, poor physical environment of the work place, uncomfortable ergonomic factors at work, and poor organizational structure at work. All of these occupational stress sources together explained 19.9% of the total variance.

Conclusions: The results confirmed that occupational stress was a major risk factor for poor mental health among Chinese off-shore oil workers. Reducing or eliminating occupational stressors at work would benefit workers' mental health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Extraction and Processing Industry*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Health
  • Petroleum
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Schedule Tolerance
  • Young Adult


  • Petroleum