Bullying has been described in literature as an important determinant for workers mental health. We aimed to evaluate the association between workplace bullying and common mental disorders in a sample of Brazilian civil servants.Methods
Cross-sectional study with a sample of 1883 workers from the Brazilian Federal Judiciary. The Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-r) was used to measure bullying at work and the Self Report Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was used to evaluate Common Mental Disorders (CMD). Poisson and logistic regressions were used to test associations of interest, controlling for confounders.Results
The overall prevalence of CMD was 27.1%. The prevalence of workplace bullying was 17.0%. In the regression analysis controlling for social, demographic and occupational confounders, workers exposed to occasional bullying (now and then or monthly negative acts) was associated with a 2.17-fold higher prevalence of CMD (p<0.001). Subjects exposed to bullying frequently (weekly or daily negative acts) presented a 4.78-fold higher prevalence of CMD than those who did not suffer bullying (p<0.001).Discussion
Very few studies on the association between bullying and mental health in low and middle income countries are published. Our findings corroborate the results of longitudinal studies from high-income countries, where bullying appears to be an important determinant of worse mental health. Prevention actions to eliminate bullying in organisations are urgent, in order to preserve workers mental health. Civil servants are at high risk of being exposed to bullying, worsening their health condition.