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The significance of job-anxiety in a working population

  • Background Job-anxiety, as distinguished from trait-anxiety, is associated with long-term sickness absence. The prevalence of job-anxiety within a working population is not known. Identifying individuals who would benefit from intervention might be useful. Aims To investigate job-anxiety in employees not undergoing treatment for mental health illness, firstly by assessing the level of job-anxiety and work-related avoidance tendencies in a working sample, and secondly by testing whether job-anxiety is distinguishable from trait-anxiety. Methods Cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample obtained through personal contact distribution. Employees from different professional settings completed an anonymous questionnaire and provided information on their employment status. The State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) was used to measure trait-anxiety and the Job-Anxiety-Scale (JAS) was used to assess job (state) anxiety. Results There was a 69% response rate (240 responses); 188 responses were available for analysis of whom 62% wereBackground Job-anxiety, as distinguished from trait-anxiety, is associated with long-term sickness absence. The prevalence of job-anxiety within a working population is not known. Identifying individuals who would benefit from intervention might be useful. Aims To investigate job-anxiety in employees not undergoing treatment for mental health illness, firstly by assessing the level of job-anxiety and work-related avoidance tendencies in a working sample, and secondly by testing whether job-anxiety is distinguishable from trait-anxiety. Methods Cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample obtained through personal contact distribution. Employees from different professional settings completed an anonymous questionnaire and provided information on their employment status. The State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) was used to measure trait-anxiety and the Job-Anxiety-Scale (JAS) was used to assess job (state) anxiety. Results There was a 69% response rate (240 responses); 188 responses were available for analysis of whom 62% were women. There were no employees with high trait-anxiety. Ten employees (5%) reported increased job-anxiety and of these nine employees reported high 'tendencies of avoidance and workplace absence'. Avoidance was most often accompanied by the comorbid job-anxieties 'job-related social anxiety', 'fear of changes at work' and 'fears of existence', 'anticipatory' and 'conditioned' job-anxiety and 'panic symptoms'. Conclusions In this sample, self-reported job-anxiety appeared as a specific type of anxiety as opposed to trait-anxiety. In the workplace job-anxiety can present as job-avoidance and sickness absence and should be distinguished from trait-anxiety. In practice, employers and occupational health practitioners should be aware of those employees prone to sickness absence.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Beate Muschalla, Madleen Heldmann, Doris FayORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqt072
ISSN:0962-7480 (print)
Parent Title (English):Occupational medicine
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Job-anxiety; occupational health; sickness absence; trait-anxiety; workplace
Volume:63
Issue:6
Pagenumber:7
First Page:415
Last Page:421
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert