202365 Precarious employment and mental health in salaried workers in Spain: A new scale of employment precariousness

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:20 AM

Alejandra Vives, MD, MPH , Center for Research in Occupational Health (CiSaL), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Montserrat Ferrer , Health Service Research Group, Institut Municipal d'Investigación Mčdica, Barcelona, Spain
Marcelo Amable, PhD , Center for Research in Occupational Health (CiSAL), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Clara Llorens , Union Institute of Work Environment and Health (ISTAS), Barcelona, Spain
Salvador Moncada, PhD , Union Institute of Work Environment and Health (ISTAS), Barcelona, Spain
Carles Muntaner, MD, PhD , Social Equity and Hlealth, Center for Addictions and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Fernando G. Benavides, MD, PhD , Center for Research in Occupational Health (CiSAL), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Joan Benach, PhD , Grup de Recerca de Desigualtats en Salut / Employment Conditions Network (GREDS/EMCONET), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Over the last three decades employment conditions of salaried workers have experienced major changes in industrialized countries. With labour market flexibility, job insecurity has grown while workers' benefits and collective control over working conditions have declined.

The purpose of this study is to describe the association between employment precariousness and self-reported mental health among workers in Spain.

The new Employment Precariousness Scale (EPRES) is a multidimensional scale encompassing six domains: employment instability; collective agreement coverage; vulnerability; wages; rights; and powerlessness to exercise rights.

Data come from the population-based Psychosocial Factors Survey 2004-05 carried out by the Barcelona Union Institute of Work, Environment and Health (ISTAS). Workers with temporary and permanent contracts were included (n=6.968). Mental health was measured with the generic health questionnaire SF-36.

Quartiles of employment precariousness (reference: 1st quartile), and eight strata according to sex, age (≤30>), and occupation, were created. Poor mental health was defined as a score below the 25th percentile of the Spanish reference for the individual's sex and age.

A marked gradient in mental health was observed within all strata. Age adjusted odds ratios reveal a significantly (p<0.005) higher probability of suffering from poor health among workers in the 4th quartile of employment precariousness across all strata, ranging from 1.9 (1.3-2.8) (manual women >30) to 6.3 (3.8-10.6) (non-manual women ≤30).

To our knowledge, this is the first European study to use an integrated measure of employment precariousness to assess its association to self-reported health. Our results highlight the public health relevance of precarious employment.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the new Employment Precariousness Scale as a multidimensional scale with six domains. Describe the relative magnitude of the observed differences in self-reported mental health along the gradient of employment precariousness, in salaried workers in Spain.

Keywords: Workplace Stressors, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have full knowledge of the content I will be presenting because it is part of my PhD research. Also, I have previous experience as a presenter and as a post graduate teacher in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.