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Workplace mistreatment and health-related quality of life (HRQL): Results from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

Tapas K Ray, Chia-Chia Chang, Abay Asfaw.

Objective: The objective was to investigate the association between workplace mistreatment and health-related quality of life (HRQL) measures among the US working population.
Methods: A total of 13,807 currently working adults from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) responding to an item on workplace mistreatment were considered. Based on the components of a commonly used HRQL instrument (SF-20), physical and mental health statuses were assessed. Separate ordered logistic regressions were fitted for each of the health conditions/quality of life indicators, with workplace mistreatment as a main explanatory variable and demographic and individual variables serving as covariates. The study also estimated and compared HRQL scores for workers who reported mistreatment and workers who did not report having been mistreated.
Result: The estimated HRQL scores for mistreated workers was 77.8 and 87.1 for workers who did not report mistreatment. Assuming HRQL=100 as perfect health status, workplace mistreatment was associated with a 72% greater health deficit. Workers exposed to workplace mistreatment had higher odds of feeling sad (OR=1.9 (95% CI-1.54, 2.39)), nervous (OR=1.96 (95% CI-1.60, 2.42)), hopeless (OR=2 (95% CI-1.53, 2.60)) and worthless (OR=1.9 (95% CI-1.5, 2.6)). Mistreated workers were less energetic, more exhausted, and felt everything was an effort (OR=1.8 (95% CI-1.5, 2.3)). Their probability of reporting a health decline over the past year was more than two times (11% vs. 5%) that of workers who had not reported mistreatment, after controlling for personal and work characteristics.
Conclusion: The analyses suggested that workplace mistreatment was associated with negative health outcomes and a lower HRQL.

Key words: Workplace mistreatment, bullying, harassment, health-related quality of life (HRQL), NHIS

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