Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1996;22(1):45-54    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.108

Work conditions and mental health among prison staff in France

by Goldberg P, David S, Landre MF, Goldberg M, Dassa S, Fuhrer R

Objectives A cross-sectional epidemiologic survey was conducted among prison staff in France to investigate the relationships between work conditions and mental health.

Methods The sample included men and women 20 to 64 years of age belonging to all categories of prison personnel (prison guards, administrative staff, socioeducational workers, technicians, health care workers, and managers). A postal self-administered questionnaire was used to assess sociodemographic factors, work conditions, and physical and mental disorders. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the effects of work conditions and social relationships on the mental health of prison staff.

Results The results presented in this report only concern depressive symptomatology (measured by the French version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), anxiety (measured by the state version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), and sleep disorders. The percentage of mental disorders was higher among prison staff than that determined for other occupational samples. Guards comprised the prison staff least affected by these symptoms.

Conclusions The results show that, in our sample, the factors concerning the subjective evaluation of work conditions and social support were more closely related to mental disorders than work conditions. In addition, seniority was associated with depressive symptoms and anxiety among the men.

The following article refers to this text: 2012;38(3):218-227