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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


RIBAS, Renata de Melo Guerra et al. Stress effects on food handler attention in a public hospital in Recife-PE, Brazil. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2010, vol.4, n.4, pp.325-331. ISSN 1980-5764.

Production of meals in Food and Nutrition Units (FNU) requires human labor performance in order to attend demand. Stress is one of the factors responsible for alterations in the health of these professionals. Reduced attention is one of the negative effects caused by stress. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate attention in Food Handlers (FH). Methods: 67 professionals were evaluated, subdivided into FH with less than 5 years in the profession, who were included as the control group (Control, n=29), and FH with more than 5 years in the profession (FH>5, n=38). Lipp's Inventory of Stress Symptoms for adults (LISS), the digit symbol, d2, forward digit span, backward digit span and paced auditory serial addition tests were applied. The data found on the LISS were analysed by Fisher's Exact and Chi-Square tests and individual attention tests were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney test, with data expressed as Median (Minimum and Maximum) with p<0.05. A total of 73.68% of FH>5 presented stress versus 13.79% of Control. Also, 57.89% of FH>5 with stress presented physical symptoms and 15.79% psychological symptoms. In the Control, 9.68% presented physical symptoms. Results: 73.68% of FH>5 with stress and 17.24% of the Control were in the resistance phase. Regarding attention, the FH>5 presented reduced focused attention (32.5±2.9), auditory attention (7.25±0.4) and resistance to interference (4.67±1.1), compared to their respective controls (43.88±1.39), (8.63±0.38), (9.25±1.16), p<0.05. Discussion and Conclusions: The activity of food handling can cause stress and attention level reduction after 5 years.

Keywords : stress; attention; food handlers.

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