Review

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3968

Psychosocial work exposures and health outcomes: a meta-review of 72 literature reviews with meta-analysis

by Niedhammer I, Bertrais S, Witt K

Objective This meta-review aimed to present all available quantitative pooled estimates for the associations between psychosocial work exposures and health outcomes using a systematic literature review of literature reviews with meta-analysis.

Methods A systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2020 was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and PsycINFO databases following the PRISMA guidelines. All literature reviews and Individual-Participant Data (IPD)-Work consortium studies exploring an association between psychosocial work exposures and health outcomes and providing pooled estimates using meta-analysis were included. All types of psychosocial work exposures and health outcomes were studied. The quality of each included review was assessed.

Results A total of 72 reviews and IPD-Work consortium studies were included. These mainly focused on job strain as exposure and cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders as outcomes. The associations between psychosocial work factors and cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders were in general significant, and the magnitude of these associations was stronger for mental disorders than for cardiovascular diseases. Based on high-quality reviews, significant associations were found between job/high strain and long working hours as exposures and coronary heart diseases, (ischemic) stroke, and depression as outcomes. A few additional significant associations involved other exposures and health outcomes.

Conclusions The included reviews brought convincing findings on the associations of some psychosocial work factors with mental disorders and cardiovascular diseases. More research may be needed to explain these associations, explore other exposures and outcomes, and make progress towards determining the causality of the associations.

Download additional material