142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Psychosocial Work Environment and Mental Health among Restaurant Workers in San Francisco's Chinatown

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Alicia Salvatore, DrPH, MPH , Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Background and Objective: Adverse psychosocial working conditions pose numerous risks to workers’ health and wellbeing. In particular, situations of effort-reward imbalance (ERI), a mismatch of perceived workplace efforts and rewards, have been found to be associated with poor physical and mental health. To date, very few studies have examined the relationship between ERI and health among low wage or immigrant workers. Using data from our Community Based Participatory Research study of working conditions and health in San Francisco’s Chinatown, we examined the relationship between ERI and depression and anxiety among Chinese restaurant workers. Methods: We surveyed Chinese restaurant workers (n=405) about working conditions and health. Siegrist’s ERI scale was used to assess the psychosocial work environment and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were used to screen for depression and anxiety, respectively. Additional worker characteristics and workplace factors were also measured. We conducted multivariate regression analyses to assess the relationship between ERI and the two outcomes. Results: Twenty-two percent of participants screened as depressed and 18% screened as anxious. ERI as well as the individual measures derived from Siegrist’s ERI model were strongly and significantly associated with both depression and anxiety. Conclusion: Results suggest a need for culturally-appropriate mental health and supportive services as well as interventions that improve the psychosocial work environment for Chinese restaurant workers. Further research is needed to elucidate the effects of the psychosocial work environment on health, particularly among low-wage, immigrant, and other vulnerable working populations.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the two components of Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI). Describe how ERI and mental health outcomes were related in the SF Chinatown restaurant worker study. Name at least one future area for research with regard to ERI and low-wage workers.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as a co-investigator of the R21 NIOSH/CDC study, participated in all aspects of its development and led the data analysis of Effort-Reward Imbalance and mental health to be presented.
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.