FRIDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to workplace violence and threats is associated with an increased risk of depression and stress-related disorders, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Joanna Wieclaw from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based case-control study of 14,166 inpatients and outpatients in Denmark treated for affective or stress-related disorders to examine the link between these psychiatric disorders and occupational violence or threats.
Compared to age- and sex-matched controls, those exposed to workplace violence were more likely to be diagnosed with affective or stress disorder according to World Health Organization classification. In women, the relative risks for depression and stress disorder were 1.45 and 1.32, respectively, and in men they were 1.48 and 1.55, respectively. Those working in education, health care and personal services were most likely to be affected.
Previous work has shown that occupational violence incurs a financial cost to the employee, the employer and society in general, but the current work extends the effects to employee mental health. Their study "points to the importance of preventing and minimizing violence and threats at work as well as providing satisfactory organizational and individual support for victims," the authors conclude.
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