Mental health and poor recovery in female nursing workers: a contribution to the study of gender inequities / Salud mental y recuperación deficiente del personal de enfermería femenino: una contribución al estudio de las inequidades por razón de género

Rotenberg L, Silva-Costa A, Griep RH.
Rev Panam Salud Publica
Published online: 2014

Abstract / Resumen:

OBJECTIVE:To address the association between work and mental health from a gender perspective by investigating the combination of domestic work and adverse aspects of professional work (night shifts and psychosocial stress) with regard to minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) and poor recovery from work. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out at three public hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2006 (n = 1 122). Data collection was based on a census of all female nurses, technicians, and auxiliary nurses. A multidimensional instrument containing information about health, professional work, and the domestic work was used. The domestic work hours (longer or shorter than 10 hours per week) were combined with the work schedule (day or night shifts) and with psychosocial stress (absence or presence of effort-reward imbalance [ERI]). These combinations were tested with regard to the association with MPD and poor recovery from work. The adjusted odds ratios (OR) and their confidence intervals were calculated using multiple regression models. RESULTS: The combination of long domestic work hours with night work was significantly associated with MPD (OR = 1.94) and poor recovery (OR = 2.67). Long domestic work hours combined with the presence of ERI resulted in significantly higher odds ratios (OR = 4.37 and OR = 5.53, respectively). In all analyses, greater odds ratios were observed in groups with long domestic work hours, compared to short work hours. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that carrying out domestic activities over a certain number of hours can increase the detrimental consequences of professional work in regard to MPD and poor recovery. The interaction between professional and domestic work and its potential implications to mental suffering must be considered in discussions on health equity.

Keywords / Palabras clave: Gender identity; mental health; equity; women’s health; women, working; occupational health; Brazil.


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