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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


GLINA, Débora Miriam Raab; ROCHA, Lys Esther; BATISTA, Maria Lucia  and  MENDONCA, Maria Goretti Vieira. Mental health and work: a discussion of the connection between work and diagnosisbased on daily practice. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.3, pp.607-616. ISSN 0102-311X.

Seven cases of workers selected among 150 who had undergone psychiatric treatment at the Workers' Health Reference Centers in Santo Amaro and André Gabois from 1994 to 1997 were presented for a detailed analysis characterizing work situations and discussing definition of the diagnosis and causal connections with work. The qualitative case study provides a thematic analysis of the patient history and files. Work situations are characterized by: unhealthy working conditions, problems related to work organization, inadequate human resources management, and urban violence. Symptoms included: fear, anxiety, depression, nervousness, tension, fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite, sleep disorders, and psychosomatic disorders (gastritis, hypertension); in addition, workers were unable to forget about work while off the job. Diagnosis varied. Three cases involved post-traumatic syndrome. Two cases involved organic psychosis linked to accidents or exposure to neurotoxic chemical products. Cases also included neurotic syndromes of fatigue, depression, and paranoia, as well as adaptation and reaction to acute stress. In all of the cases it was possible to relate the clinical picture to the work situation.

Keywords : Stress; Occupational Health; Mental Health.

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