Presentation T P33

T P33 (Poster Presentation):
Work and common mental disorders: are expectancies more important than work satisfaction and work strain?

Presented by: Tone Langjordet Johnsen


Johnsen T1, Tveito TH1,2, Indahl A1,2

  1. Clinic Physical Medicine and rehabilitation, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Stavern
  2. Uni Health, Uni Research, Bergen, Norway



Common mental disorders (CMD) are one of the most frequent reasons for sick leave and disability pensions. There may be much to gain, both from an individual and a societal perspective, from interventions aimed at preventing the consequences of CMD. Thus, it is important to explore early predictors for CMD to be able to develop effective interventions. According to The Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress (CATS) learned response outcome expectancies are important contributors to health. Individual differences in the expectancy and ability to cope with workplace and general life demands may be important for how work conditions influence the health of employees. Thus, high levels of positive response outcome expectancies (coping), and low levels of negative response outcome expectancies (hopelessness) and no response outcome expectancies (helplessness), might make it more likely for employees to manage the consequences of an adverse work environment. The objective of this study is to investigate the relative effect of response outcome expectancies (as defined in CATS), work satisfaction, and work strain on CMD in Norwegian municipal employees.


A survey was carried out among 1,746 municipal employees (mean age 44.2 SD=11.5, 81% female). The data was collected as part of a randomized controlled trial, but only baseline data was used in this cross-sectional study. Outcome variables were anxiety and depression; and response outcome expectancies, work satisfaction, work strain, and number of subjective health complaints was independent variables. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted.


Almost all responding employees had answered the items about anxiety and depression, thus 1721 respondents were included in the analyses. Fifteen percent reported anxiety during the last month, 24% reported depression, and 11% reported both anxiety and depression. Of the employees with anxiety sixty-seven percent reported a little, 26% some, and 7% severe anxiety. Seventy percent of the employees with depression reported a little, 21% some, and 9% severe depression. No and negative response outcome expectancies, and number of subjective health complaints were associated with anxiety and depression. The associations were small, although statistically significant.


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Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Mental disorders