A new study has found that the risk of psychological distress was high among workers who faced high emotional demand and conflicting roles.
Hakon A. Johannessen, PhD, and colleagues of the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, used nationwide survey data to look at how the psychosocial work environment affects employees' levels of psychological distress.
It was found that 16 percent of workers said that they were at least slightly bothered by psychological distress- including symptoms of depression and anxiety- over the past month.
The study focused on two main risk factors: role conflict, such as being given work tasks without enough resources to complete them and receiving contradictory requests from different people; and emotional demands, defined as "dealing with strong feelings such as sorrow, anger, desperation, and frustration" at work.
The research suggested that perceived role conflict and emotional demands were "the most important and most consistent risk factors" for psychological distress.
The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).