Working environment conditions in rural areas according to psychosocial indices.
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The Swedish Farmers' Safety and Preventive Health Association, Stockholm, Sweden
Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Ann Agric Environ Med. 1998;5(2):139-145
The aim of this work was to study psychosocial working environment factors among farmers and other people living in rural areas. The study was carried out as a cross-section investigation. All persons visiting local occupational health service centres for a health check up have been asked to answer an inquiry which was based on the Karasek-Theorell questionnaire on job strain. Five extra items on worry about the future were added. The questionnaire was completed by over 3,800 persons. Three of four indices showed significant difference with respect to sex. Women experienced less stimulance at work, authority over work and had a greater fear of the future. Farmers had a significantly higher index for psychological demands, stimulance at work as well as authority over work than other occupational groups. The index for authority over work was very high in comparison with presented results for different occupations in other studies. With respect to worry about the future, the farmers had a significantly higher index than nearly all the other occupational groups. The low risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) among farmers reported in other studies can probably be related to good psychosocial working environment as measured by the indices in this study as well as other known life style factors.
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