Does good leadership buffer effects of high emotional demands at work on risk of antidepressant treatment? A prospective study from two Nordic countries

Tidsskriftartikel - 2014

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[Open access] PURPOSE: Emotionally demanding work has been associated with increased risk of common mental disorders. Because emotional demands may not be preventable in certain occupations, the identification of workplace factors that can modify this association is vital. This article examines whether effects of emotional demands on antidepressant treatment, as an indicator of common mental disorders, are buffered by good leadership. METHODS: We used data from two nationally representative work environment studies, the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study (n = 6,096) and the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (n = 3,411), which were merged with national registers on antidepressant purchases. All individuals with poor self-reported baseline mental health or antidepressant purchases within 8.7 months before baseline were excluded, and data analysed prospectively. Using Cox regression, we examined hazard ratios (HRs) for antidepressants in relation to the joint effects of emotional demands and leadership quality. Buffering was assessed with Rothman's synergy index. Cohort-specific risk estimates were pooled by random effects meta-analysis. RESULTS: High emotional demands at work were associated with antidepressant treatment whether quality of leadership was poor (HR = 1.84, 95 % CI 1.32-2.57) or good (HR = 1.70, 95 % CI 1.25-2.31). The synergy index was 0.66 (95 % CI 0.34-1.28). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that good leadership does not substantially ameliorate any effects of emotional demands at work on employee mental health. Further research is needed to identify possible preventive measures for this work environment exposure

Reference

Madsen I, Hanson L, Rugulies RE, Theorell T, Burr FHM, Diderichsen F, Westerlund H. Does good leadership buffer effects of high emotional demands at work on risk of antidepressant treatment? A prospective study from two Nordic countries. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2014;49(8):1209-1218.
doi: 10.1007/s00127-014-0836-x

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