Substantiating the concept of work strain: its implication for the assessment of work stressors

J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Mar;54(3):363-70. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182452181.


Objective: To assess which work stressors are substantially contributing to work strain and examine their relative contribution.

Methods: We prospectively examined the association between work stressors and work strain, which was defined as employees reporting ill due to work stress. Relevant work stressors were combined into a stressor score with each stressor having its own relevance. Standardized odds ratios (SORs) were calculated using logistic regression analysis and used to compare the associations obtained between already existing scales and the stressor score with work strain.

Results: The stressor score yielded an SOR of 1.89 (95% confidence interval: 1.49 to 2.41) for work strain, while psychological demands (JCQ) yielded an SOR of 1.46 (95% confidence interval: 1.09 to 1.88) for work strain.

Conclusions: We were able to extend and substantiate the range of relevant work stressors into a more comprehensive measure, which should be used to optimize prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physical Exertion
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sick Leave*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Time Factors
  • Work / psychology*
  • Workload / psychology
  • Young Adult