open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
Original article
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-06-05
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Combined effects of work-related stress in Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG)

S.E. Kingdom, A.P. Smith
International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):63-70.

open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original article
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-06-05

Abstract

Background. Having initially reported on the overall level of stress in Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG), in a second study we found that a combined (negative) effects approach to stress was better able to identify the associated psychosocial risk factors than by using the well-documented Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) or Job Demand-Control Support (JDCS) models alone. Using the same combined effects method, this study now examines the negative health and wellbeing outcomes associated with the level of high stress found in this occupational group.
Material and methods. Participants included 282 coastguards. A range of known stress outcomes were measured including: mental and physical health, accidents, risk taking, effects of memory, lifestyle, and job satisfaction.
Results. Significant associations were found with: anxiety, depression, number of sick days, perception that illness was caused or made worse by work, number of symptoms, medicines taken, insomnia, ability to maintain a desired body weight or take planned exercise and find time to relax and wind down, time spent on hobbies or interests, the impact of job on family life/family life on job, and job satisfaction.
Conclusions. Sixteen negative outcomes were significantly associated with the combined effects approach, compared with 15 using ERI or 10 using JDCS alone. Results clearly demonstrated the harmful effects of stress in maritime related roles, other than those of seafarers and suggest that further research in this area would be useful. Further studies on the more flexible stress model, which allows for the examination of both established and new combinations of risk factors and associated outcomes, would also be beneficial.

Abstract

Background. Having initially reported on the overall level of stress in Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG), in a second study we found that a combined (negative) effects approach to stress was better able to identify the associated psychosocial risk factors than by using the well-documented Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) or Job Demand-Control Support (JDCS) models alone. Using the same combined effects method, this study now examines the negative health and wellbeing outcomes associated with the level of high stress found in this occupational group.
Material and methods. Participants included 282 coastguards. A range of known stress outcomes were measured including: mental and physical health, accidents, risk taking, effects of memory, lifestyle, and job satisfaction.
Results. Significant associations were found with: anxiety, depression, number of sick days, perception that illness was caused or made worse by work, number of symptoms, medicines taken, insomnia, ability to maintain a desired body weight or take planned exercise and find time to relax and wind down, time spent on hobbies or interests, the impact of job on family life/family life on job, and job satisfaction.
Conclusions. Sixteen negative outcomes were significantly associated with the combined effects approach, compared with 15 using ERI or 10 using JDCS alone. Results clearly demonstrated the harmful effects of stress in maritime related roles, other than those of seafarers and suggest that further research in this area would be useful. Further studies on the more flexible stress model, which allows for the examination of both established and new combinations of risk factors and associated outcomes, would also be beneficial.
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Keywords

stress; coastguards; combined effects; Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS); Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI); outcomes

About this article
Title

Combined effects of work-related stress in Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG)

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)

Article type

Original article

Pages

63-70

Published online

2012-06-05

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):63-70.

Keywords

stress
coastguards
combined effects
Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS)
Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI)
outcomes

Authors

S.E. Kingdom
A.P. Smith

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