[Mental health in software engineers. I. Frequency of mental complaints, physical complaints and psychiatric disorders]

Sangyo Igaku. 1990 Mar;32(2):118-24. doi: 10.1539/joh1959.32.118.
[Article in Japanese]


This study examined the physical complaints, mental complaints and psychiatric disorders in software engineers. Subjects were 101 male software engineers. They were evaluated by a semistructured interview. Psychiatric diagnosis was based on DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition). The results are summarized as follows: 1) Physical complaints were observed in 68% of the subjects with 25% of the subjects complaining of physical ill-health. This study showed that 12% of the subjects had hypertension, 12%, gastritis or gastro-duodenal ulcer, 14%, allergic disease, and 19% miscellaneous diseases. 2) Of the subjects 62% had mental complaints and 31% mental ill-health. Depressive symptom was the most frequent mental complaint with 32% of the subjects diagnosed as DSM-III. The common diagnoses were adjustment disorders (19%), major affective disorders (6%), psychological factors affecting physical condition (5%) and dysthymic disorder (3%). Only one subject sought professional help from a psychiatrist for relief of mental complaints. The data suggest the severity of mental ill health in software engineers, but methodological limitations preclude a firm conclusion at this time. Further studies should be made on the mental health state in software engineers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Mental Health*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Software*