26 June 2009
While complaining about work might be a national pastime, it may be advisable to stay positive about it – research shows discord in the workplace may lead to depressive disorders and anti-depressant use.
A study of 3347 Finnish employees aged 30-64 years showed those who reported having a poor team environment had a 60 per cent higher risk of developing depressive disorders after adjusting for age, gender, marital status, occupational grade, job demands and presence of mental disorders (Occup Environ Med, online first).
A poor team environment at work also resulted in a 50 per cent higher risk of future antidepressant medication use.
‘Psychological deficiencies in team climate may…represent deprivation of support, currency or shared decision-making and therefore expose workers to depression,’ the authors said.
A poor work team environment was not associated with the development of an alcohol use disorder. The authors suggested alcohol use disorders might be influenced by personality factors, general socioeconomic conditions and psychological factors not related to the work environment.
Work team environment was measured based on responses to questionnaires pertaining to whether their work environment was: ‘encouraging and supportive of new ideas’; ‘prejudiced and conservative’; ‘nice and easy’; or ‘quarrelsome and disagreeing’.
Last Reviewed: 26 June 2009