Perceived job-anxiety and general psychosomatic symptom load and perceived social support - Is there a relationship?

Work. 2010;37(1):29-39. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2010-1054.


Objective: Job-related distress has often been found to be related with low social support at work. The question is whether dimensions of social support outside work have a similar relation with job-anxiety or whether they are independent.

Participants: A sample of 154 employed inpatients from a psychosomatic rehabilitation center (70% women) participated in this study.

Methods: Participants completed self-rating questionnaires on perceived symptom load in the domain of work (job-anxiety) and in general life (general psychosomatic symptom load), and on perceived social support at work and outside work.

Results: Job-anxiety showed moderate correlations with the perceived level of social support through colleagues. Thereby the social support dimensions of "consolation and encouragement" and "criticism, overload, rejection" were more strongly related to job-anxiety than the dimension of "practical support". There were no significant correlations between job-anxiety and social support through household members, leisure time partners or neighbors.

Conclusions: Social support is in a specific way important in the context of work other than concerning general mental health outside the work-context. Job-anxiety is a domain-specific clinical phenomenon and independent from perceived social support outside the workplace.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / rehabilitation
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Occupations
  • Perception
  • Prevalence
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*
  • Young Adult