Association between mental disorders and work-related psychosocial factors in teachers

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between work-related psychosocial factors and the prevalence of mental disorders among pre-school and elementary school teachers. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was undertaken with 1,024 teachers from municipal public schools and from the ten largest private schools in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia State (Northeastern Brazil) in 2001. The main independent variable was based on the demand-control model, which classifies individuals according to their job pressures. The dependent variable was the incidence of mental disorders as evaluated by a self-reporting questionnaire. The measure of frequency was prevalence, and the measure of association was the prevalence ratio. A logistic regression model was used as the main statistical technique. RESULTS: There was a 44% prevalence of mental disorders among teachers. Evidence suggests that these were associated with work-related demands and control issues, after controlling for confounding variables such as sex, geographic region and social support. The prevalence of mental disorders among high-strain teachers was 1.5 times greater than that among low-strain teachers. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of mental disorders was high among teachers of the municipality. There was evidence that this was associated with job demands.

Education, primary and secondary; Mental disorders; Occupational health; Working conditions; Job satisfaction; Questionnaires; Cross-sectional studies

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