A longitudinal and comparative study of psychological distress among professional workers in regulated occupations in Canada
Authors: Nathalie Cadieux and Alain Marchand
BACKGROUND: Although several studies are concerned by the phenomenon of psychological distress at work, few studies have looked at the prevalence of psychological distress among professional workers in the regulated occupations and compare this prevalence with other occupations. OBJECTIVES: This study propose to define regulated occupations by laying out the theoretical boundaries that apply to the practice of these occupations and try to understand how regulated occupations contributed to the experience of psychological distress in the Canadian workforce over time. METHOD: Multilevel logistical regression analyses on longitudinal data were performed to compare the odds of experiencing psychological distress over time among professional workers in regulated occupations (n=276) and among other professional workers, classified into 6 categories (n=6731), over a 12-year period. RESULTS: The results show that proportion of distress in the workforce decreases for all occupations between Cycle 1 and Cycle 7 of the NPHS, but this decrease is not linear over time. The results show also that regulated occupations present a lower probability of psychological distress only when compared with white-collar workers. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that occupation contributes little toward understanding the prevalence of psychological distress in the Canadian workforce. Further research needs are also discussed.
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