Occupational Stress Among Health Professionals: the Role of Psychosocial job Dimensions and the Recovery Processes.

  • R. Pisanti
  • C. Violani


Background. In accordance with the Effort - Recovery model(Meijaman & Mulder, 1998), recovery is a process of psychological unwinding that is the opposite of the activation of psychophysiological systems during effort expenditure, particularly under stressful conditions. In the present study we examined the mediator role of three recovery dimensions (spillover, recovery self efficacy and sleep disorders) in the relationships between psychosocial job dimensions and psychological distress/well being variables. Methods. Three hundred and forty nine workers (69% females, mean age = 44.8 years; SD = 9.6 ) employed in helping professions (37% teachers; 28% civil servants, 18% health care workers, 16% social workers) filled out the Leiden Quality of Work Life Questionnaire (van der Doef & Maes, 1997); the recovery self efficacy scale (Kodja, 2003); the sleep disorders questionnaire (Violani,et al., 2000); and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey (Maslach & Jackson, 1997). Findings. The recovery self efficacy showed only direct associations. Moreover, spillover and insomnia impact partially mediated the association between job demands and emotional exhaustion. Finally, spillower partially mediated the association between job control and emotional exhaustion. The indexes of the final model were: ChiSquare = 35.3; GDL = 28; CFI = .99; RMSEA= ,03; (.00 - .05). Discussion. The processes of recovery were not univocal. Future research would benefit from the use of longitudinal designs and focus on changes of working conditions.
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