261 Using the national health interview surveyto study workplace psychosocial exposures in the u.s

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Abstract

Introduction

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is an annual, in-person health survey that is the primary source of information on the health of Americans. In 2010 and 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sponsored sets of work-related questions in the NHIS, called Occupational Health Supplements (OHSs) in order to estimate the prevalence of workplace exposures, including psychosocial exposures, and common work-related health conditions.

Methods

The 2015 NHIS-OHS included questions about several psychosocial exposures: work-life interference, worry about losing one’s job, hostile work environment, job demands, job control, and supervisory support. The data are publicly available, and NIOSH has estimated the prevalence of all of these exposures using statistical procedures that take the complex sample design into account and applying NHIS sample adult record weights to produce nationally representative results.

Result

The 2015 NHIS-OHS collected data on more than 19 000 employed adults, representing almost 158 million American workers. The overall prevalence of work-life interference was 25.5%, ranging from 23.9% among workers employed in wholesale and retail trade to 31.1% among workers employed in transportation, warehousing and utilities industries. The overall prevalence of worry about losing one’s job was 11.0%, ranging from 10.0% among those employed in services industries to 29.0% among those employed in mining. The overall prevalence of a hostile work environment was 6.9%, ranging from 1.5% among those employed in agriculture, forestry, and fishing to 9.9% among those employed in healthcare and social assistance. High job demands were reported by 14.4%, low job control was reported by 13.7%, and low supervisory support was reported by 9.9% of workers.

Discussion

Many U.S. workers experience workplace psychosocial exposures that may adversely impact their health, and the prevalence of these exposures varies by industry. Workplace or industry-specific interventions, developed with worker participation, may be warranted.

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