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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

versão impressa ISSN 1415-790X


ALVES, Márcia Guimarães de Mello; HOKERBERG, Yara H M  e  FAERSTEIN, Eduardo. Trends and diversity in the empirical use of Karasek's demand-control model (job strain): a systematic review. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2013, vol.16, n.1, pp.125-136. ISSN 1415-790X.


Karasek's demand-control model has been used to investigate association between job strain and health outcomes. However, different instruments and definitions have been utilized to assess the exposure 'high strain at work', which makes difficult the comparison of results across studies.


To describe the measurement instruments and the definitions adopted for the exposure variable 'job strain', according to the demand-control model, by observational studies published until 2010.


Systematic review of observational studies published until December 2010, addressing the exposure 'job strain', measured according to the demand-control model and used the JCQ or its derivatives, since explicit.


Among 877 selected abstracts, 496 (57%) met the inclusion criteria. It identified a trend towards the increasing production literature on the subject. Most studies were sectional; found no relevant differences among study populations of men and women. Sweden, USA, Japan and Canada accounted for 57% of publications, mostly including more than 1000 participants and diverse occupations. Cardiovascular outcomes and their risk factors were the most studied (45%), followed by those related to mental health (25%). In 71% of the studies used the Job Content Questionnaire (from 2 to 49 items) and 19% of the total, the Swedish version (Demand-Control Questionnaire Swedish). Quadrants of the demand-control exposure were used in 51% of the work, but with different cutoff points; scores of the two dimensions were analyzed separately in 27%, and its ratio in 14% of the total. Social support at work was assessed in 44% of the studies.


Karasek's model should continue to raise epidemiological studies and we hope that researchers face these theoretical and methodological issues outstanding.

Palavras-chave : Psychosocial stress; Demand-control model; Work environment; Social determinants of health; Occupational health; Systematic review.

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