Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to cortisol and subjective health complaints in women working in the public health care sector

Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to cortisol and subjective health complaints in women... PurposeFocusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).Design/methodology/approachThe authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).FindingsHierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.Practical implicationsTaken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.Originality/valueThis study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Workplace Health Management Emerald Publishing

Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to cortisol and subjective health complaints in women working in the public health care sector

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8351
DOI
10.1108/IJWHM-12-2016-0086
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeFocusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).Design/methodology/approachThe authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).FindingsHierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.Practical implicationsTaken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.Originality/valueThis study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

Journal

International Journal of Workplace Health ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 7, 2017

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