Background: Stress and psychological disorders have been assigned increasing significance in the field of occupational health. Based on Japan's psychiatric disability occupational disease recognition regulation, Taiwan's Council of Labor Affairs announced "Evaluation Guidelines for psychiatric diseases induced by work-related stress" in 2009. This evaluation tool was designed to assess the source and intensity of work-related and non-work-related mental stress, and references existing Japanese guidelines. However, empirical data from workers in various sectors in Taiwan are still required to validate the utility of the guidelines. Methods: This study recruited 2319 workers from the manufacturing, service, and public administration sectors to participate in a survey between 2010 and 2011. The survey included questions regarding participants' demographic characteristics, job type or attributes, a life event stress intensity evaluation Table (35 work-related and 23 non-work-related items on a scale of 1-10). The Chinese version of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (C-CBI) and Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ-12) were also included to explore associations between work-related/non-work-related stress and health outcomes. Results: Analyses of survey results showed events relating to employment security (e.g., "company bankruptcy" and "being fired or forced to retire" scores; mean stress intensity scores both 6.18) were the cause of the highest intensity work-related stress. Within different demographic/job type categories, women had higher stress intensity scores for most items than men (greatest difference in "sexual harassment in the workplace" score). Furthermore, executive class workers generally experienced more psychological stress than blue-collar workers (greatest difference in "serious injury or disease due to work" score). Results from regression analysis supported the observation that employees' burnout and work-related stress was more significant than non-work-related stress. Moreover, work-related/non-work-related stress intensity levels both had significant negative predictive effects on mental health. Conclusions: Regarding policy, this study provides empirical evidence and practical suggestions for establishing a psychological stress intensity database of workers under specific social contexts in a newly industrialized East Asian country. Such a database can be employed to help identify workers with work-related psychological disorders. Additionally, this study also provides a point of reference for enterprises to prioritize agendas when developing employee stress management and support protocols.
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