Psychosocial work environment, interpersonal violence at work and psychotropic drug use among correctional officers

Int J Law Psychiatry. Mar-Apr 2010;33(2):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2009.12.005. Epub 2009 Dec 30.

Abstract

The aims of this study were to establish the prevalence of psychotropic drug use, measure the association between job strain, extrinsic efforts-rewards ratio, interpersonal violence and psychotropic drug use among officers working in correctional facilities in the province of Quebec in Canada. This study also examined if interpersonal violence at work is an intermediate factor in the causal chain between psychosocial risk factors at work and psychotropic drug use. A cross-sectional study was performed which included 1288 Quebec correctional officers. The participants answered a self-administered questionnaire in 2007 assessing psychological demands, decision latitude, extrinsic efforts, rewards, overcommitment, intimidation, psychological harassment, social support in the actual job, psychotropic drug use during the month preceding the questionnaire and sociodemographic variables. Binomial regressions were performed for the principal associations and a bootstrap analysis was performed in order to evaluate interpersonal violence as an intermediate factor between psychosocial risk factors at work and psychotropic drug use. The prevalence of psychotropic drug use among correctional officers was 14.7%. The prevalence ratios (PR) for the associations between job strain, extrinsic efforts-rewards ratio, social support from colleagues and supervisors, intimidation and psychological harassment adjusted for age and gender were respectively 1.4 (95% CI 0.9-2.2), 1.6 (95% CI 1.2-2.2), 1.7 (95% CI 1.3-2.3), 1.4 (95% CI 0.9-2.4) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.0). The value of the indirect effect evaluating psychological harassment as an intermediate factor was not statistically significant (value=0.0087, 95% CI -0.0033 to 0.0207). An imbalanced extrinsic efforts-rewards ratio, low social support from colleagues and supervisors and psychological harassment at work were separately associated with psychotropic drug use among correctional officers. Psychological harassment was not found to be an intermediate factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Prisons*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Quebec
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Psychotropic Drugs