Do psychosocial work conditions predict risk of disability pensioning? An analysis of register-based outcomes using pooled data on 40,554 observations

Scand J Public Health. 2014 Jun;42(4):377-84. doi: 10.1177/1403494814527187. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Aims: To investigate whether high psychosocial job demands (quantitative demands and work pace) and low psychosocial job resources (influence at work and quality of leadership) predicted risk of disability pensioning among employees in four occupational groups--employees working with customers, employees working with clients, office workers and manual workers--in line with the propositions of the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model.

Methods: Survey data from 40,554 individuals were fitted to the DREAM register containing information on payments of disability pension. Using multi-adjusted Cox regression, observations were followed in the DREAM-register to assess risk of disability pensioning. Average follow-up time was 5.9 years (SD=3.0).

Results: Low levels of influence at work predicted an increased risk of disability pensioning and medium levels of quantitative demands predicted a decreased risk of disability pensioning in the study population. We found significant interaction effects between job demands and job resources as combinations low quality of leadership and high job demands predicted the highest rate of disability pensioning. Further analyses showed some, but no statistically significant, differences between the four occupational groups in the associations between job demands, job resources and risk of disability pensioning.

Conclusions: The study showed that psychosocial job demands and job resources predicted risk of disability pensioning. The direction of some of the observed associations countered the expectations of the JD-R model and the findings of the present study therefore imply that associations between job demands, job resources and adverse labour market outcomes are more complex than conceptualised in the JD-R model.

Keywords: Job Demands-Resources model; Occupational health; epidemiology; longitudinal analysis; occupational psychology; psychosocial work environment; register data; retirement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Disability / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observation
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data
  • Pensions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Work / psychology*