Psychosocial risk exposures and labour management practices. An exploratory approach

Scand J Public Health. 2010 Feb;38(3 Suppl):125-36. doi: 10.1177/1403494809354363.


Aim: The purpose was to explore the relationship between psychosocial risk exposures and labour management practices (LMP), as indicators of work organization and pertinent features for primary preventive intervention.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of a representative sample of salaried working population in Spain (n = 7,612). Information was obtained in 2004-2005 using a standardized questionnaire administered through personal interviews at the household. Questions on working conditions were used to establish LMP indicators and the psychosocial exposures data were obtained on the basis of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) I (ISTAS21). A multivariate description was performed through multiple correspondence analysis, and associations between LMPs and psychosocial exposures were assessed by ordinal logistic analysis adjusting for age and sex.

Results: Correspondence analysis showed a good-bad coherent pattern regarding both psychosocial dimension and LMPs, though several LMPs categories were placed in the centre. Among the 14 possible associations of each psychosocial scale with LMP variables, several scales showed significant associations with more than eight LMP variables. Most relevant results referred to the LMP variable ''Consultative and delegative participation in methods''.

Conclusions: In line with previous research, psychosocial exposures were associated with LMP. LMP may constitute a step on a pathway from work organization to health. Our exploratory work suggested that good psychosocial exposures were related to participatory working methods, being hired with a permanent labour contract, not being made to feel easily replaceable, having superiors with non-authoritarian and non-aggressive manners, not being threatened with dismissal, upward functional mobility, being paid according to the number of working hours and occupation, working between 31 and 40 hours per week and in regular morning shifts. Hence, the more these features became part of LMP in the workplace, the better the psychosocial work environment would be.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Health*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Factors
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Social Support
  • Spain
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload / psychology
  • Workplace / psychology*