Table 1

Associations between psychosocial risk factors at work and the occurrence of mental stress related disorders (17 studies)

Author, country
population
OutcomeExposureOR(95% CI)
Definition and assessmentDefinition and assessment
Mino (1999),
Japan, machine production, n=31015
GHQ-30
GHQ-30≥8
Job demands: one item♂ RR 1.390.92 to 2.10
(always/sometimes present vs absent)♀ RR 1.140.81 to 1.59
Supervisor support: one item♂ RR 1.100.69 to 1.74
(absent vs always/sometimes present)♀ RR 2.211.25 to 3.89
Stansfeld (1999),
England, civil servants, n=10 30816
GHQ-30
GHQ-30>4
Job demands: adapted JCQ♂ 1.331.1 to 1.6
(highest tertile vs lowest)♀ 1.241.0 to 1.6
Decision authority: adapted JCQ♂ 1.291.1 to 1.5
(lowest vs highest tertile)♀ 1.371.1 to 1.8
Coworker support: adapted JCQ♂ 1.291.1 to 1.5
(lowest vs highest tertile)♀ 1.120.9 to 1.4
Supervisor support: adapted JCQ♂ 1.311.1 to 1.5
(lowest vs highest tertile)♀ 1.110.9 to 1.3
Effort-reward imbalance: imbalance: indicator of high effort and low rewards♂ 2.571.8 to 3.6
(high efforts/low rewards vs no high efforts/lowrewards)♀ 1.671.0 to 2.9
Skill discretion: adapted JCQ♂ 1.110.9 to 1.3
(lowest vs highest tertile)♀ 1.090.8 to 1.4
Bϋltmann (2002),
Netherlands, 45 companies, n=88331
GHQ-12≥4Job demands Questionnaire (JCQ)
Job demands: JCQ♂ 1.511.23 to 1.85
(highest vs lowest tertie)♀ 1.441.03 to 2.01
Decision latitude: JCQ♂ 1.140.9 to 1.43
(lowest vs highest tertile)♀ 0.880.62 to 1.24
Coworker support: JCQ♂ 1.251.04 to 1.49
(low vs high)♀ 1.310.97 to 1.78
Supervisor support: JCQ♂ 1.251.05 to 1.49
(low vs high)♀ 1.120.85 to 1.47
Emotional demands: Dutch QPJW♂ 1.731.40 to 2.14
Work and Health,self-formulated (high (2–5) vs no (0,1))♀ 1.391.01 to 1.91
Job insecurity: QPJW, one-item♂ 1.631.18 to 2.27
(yes vs no)♀ 0.940.56 to 1.59
Bonde (2005), Denmark, various workplaces, n=284617SSPI≥4Skill discretion: Repetitive work
(yes vs no)
1.30.6 to 2.2
Godin (2005),
Belgium, private and public sector, n=152118
SHI: upper quartileEffort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire
(highest quartile vs rest)
♂ 3.4
♀ 2.0
1.7 to 6.7
0.9 to 4.1
Kivimaki (2007),
Finland, government, n=21 27119
GHQ-12≥4Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire
(highest vs lowest quartile)
2.041.80 to 2.32
Procedural and organisational injustice: Organizational Justice Scale
(highest vs lowest quartile)
1.811.60 to 2.06
Relational injustice: Organizational Justice Scale
(highest vs lowest quartile)
1.501.32 to 1.70
Kivimaki (2007),
Finland, hospital, n=10 73619
GHQ-12≥4Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire
(highest vs lowest quartile)
1.591.24 to 2.05
Procedural injustice: OJQ
(highest vs lowest quartile)
1.671.29 to 2.15
Relational injustice: OJQ (highest vs lowest quartile)1.561.21 to 2.02
Hanson (2008),
Sweden, various workers, n=30042
MBI-GS>75th percentileJob demands: SWES♂ 2.091.52 to 2.88
(≥2 positive vs <2 out of four items)♀ 1.791.36 to 2.35
Decision authority: SWES♂ 1.360.98 to 1.88
(≥2 positive vs <2 out of four items)♀ 1.411.07 to 1.86
Coworker support: SWES; one item♂ 1.450.97 to 2.17
(4-point Likert scale, dichotomised: low (1,2) vs high(3.4))♀ 1.921.25 to 2.93
Supervisor support: SWES; one item♂ 1.651.19 to 2.31
(4-point Likert scale dichotomised: low (1,2) vs high(3.4))♀ 1.220.91 to 1.65
Devereux (2011),
England, 11 industrial types, n=146320
GHQ-12
GHQ-12>3
Job demands questionnaire: 4 items
(highest vs lowest tertile)
RR 1.621.26 to 2.09
Decision latitude: 15 items
(lowest vs highest tertile)
RR 1.110.86 to 1.42
Coworker and supervisor support: 7 items
(lowest vs highest tertile)
RR 1.471.18 to 1.84
Sundin (2011),
Sweden, nurses, n=55521
MBI Swedish version, EE
EE >27
Job demands: SWES, one item, 5-point Likert scale (at least once a week or more vs ≤1 day out of 10)4.331.98 to 9.45
Coworker support: SWES; one item, 4-point Likert scale
(less (1,2,3) vs always receiving support (4))
2.210.88 to 5.56
Supervisor support: SWES; one item, 4-point Likert scale
(less (1,2,3) vs always receiving support (4))
2.170.65 to 7.26
Inoue (2013),
Japan, manufacturing, n=5693
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6)
≥5 K6 scale
Procedural injustice: Organizational Justice Questionnaire (OJQ): 7 items, 5 point scale; Permanent (P) non-permanent worker (NP)
(highest vs lowest tertile)
Relational injustice: OJQ interactional justice 6-items, 5 point scale
(highest vs lowest tertile)
♂ 1.37 (P)
♀ 5.25 (P)
♀ 2.84 (NP)
♂ 2.39 (P)
♀ 2.35 (P)
0.43 to 4.34
0.82 to 33.6
1.19 to 6.75
0.61 to 9.39
0.51 to 10.9
♀ 1.61 (NP)0.78 to 3.30
Laine (2014),
Finland, public sector,
n=329822
GHQ-12
>3 GHQ-12
Procedural injustice: 4 items Moorman’s inventory
(highest vs lowest quartile)
1.651.21 to 2.24
Relational injustice: 4 items Moorman’s inventory(highest vs lowest quartile)1.290.97 to 1.72
Bullying: item about mental violence or workplace bullying (yes vs no)1.570.97 to 2.53
Taniguchi (2015),
Japan, elderly facilities, n=54323
BJSQ>13 (♂) or >12 (♀)Bullying: Japanese NAQ, person-related3.46 (PR)1.49 to 8.05
bullying (PR; six items), work-related bullying (WR; three items),2.85 (WR)0.61 to 13.26
sexual harassment (SH; three items), five-point scale (≥1 item positive vs none)1.73 (SH)0.98 to 3.08
Andersen (2017),
Denmark, prison personnel, n=174124
COPSOQ-CBI highest quartileCOPSOQ, 5-point Likert-scale (most exposed quartile vs least exposed three quartiles)
Job demands: 4 items1.611.21 to 2.16
Coworker and supervisor support: 6 items1.310.98 to 1.76
Emotional demands: 4 items1.461.06 to 2.01
Effort-reward imbalance (low recognition): 3 items1.330.98 to 1.80
Oshio (2017),
Japan, 12 industrial types, n=741925
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6)
K6 ≥5
Job demands: 5 items Japanese JCQ, 4-♂ 1.621.45 to 1.81
point scale (median-split method classifying high vs low)♀ 1.711.38 to 2.13
Procedural injustice: Japanese version of♂ 1.681.51 to 1.87
OJQ, 7 items, 5-point Likert scale♀ 1.801.45 to 2.23
Relational injustice: Japanese version of♂ 1.581.42 to 1.77
OJQ, 6 items, 5-point Likert scale♀ 1.711.37 to 2.13
Effort reward imbalance: Japanese version Effort-Reward Imbalance♂ 2.051.84 to 2.29
Questionnaire, effort (three items), reward (seven items), 4-point scale♀ 1.841.48 to 2.28
Kind (2018),
Switzerland, youth welfare, n=12126
BOSS T-score ≥60Workplace aggression: exposure to verbal and physical threats
Verbal aggression vs no aggression
HR 1.671.09 to 2.58
Pihl-Thingvad (2019), Denmark, social educators, n=182327CBI>75th percentileWorkplace violence: Scandinavian checklist, 4 items, 4-point Likert-scale (high exposed (≥1 incident per month) vs non- exposed)1.40.9 to 2.3
  • BJSQ, Brief Job Stress Questionnaire; BOSS, Burnout screening scales; CBI, Copenhagen Burnout Inventory; COPSOQ, Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire; EE, Emotional Exhaustion; GHQ, General Health Questionnaire; JCQ, Job Content Questionnaire; MBI, Maslach Burnout Inventory; MBI-GS, Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey; NAQ, Negative Acts Questionnaire; OJQ, Organizational Justice Questionnaire ; QPJW, Questionnaires; Perception and Judgement of Work; RR, relative risk; SHI, Short Fatigue Inventory; SSPI, Setterlind Stress Profile Inventory; SWES, Swedish Work Environment Survey.