Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Psychiatric Disorders in an Industrial Population in India

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Psychiatric Disorders in an Industrial Population in India

Article excerpt

Byline: Srihari. Dutta, Nilamadhab. Kar, Jagadisha. Thirthalli, Sreekumaran. Nair

Background: Recent information on psychiatric morbidity in industrial employees is not available in India. Such information may help in building mental health care for this population. Aim: The aim was to study the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity and the risk factors associated with it in an industrial population. Materials and Methods: Two hundred thirty-eight individuals were selected by a stratified randomisation technique and screened using the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), Johns Hopkins University Hospital Test for alcoholism and a semistructured questionnaire for other substance use, sleep problems and past psychiatric history. Following a detailed clinical interview, diagnoses were based on International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10, Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Diagnostic Criteria for Research (DCR). Results: The prevalence rate for psychiatric disorder of one month's duration in the study population was 51.7%. Substance use, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders were common. Comorbidities were found in 65% of the subjects. Both univariate analysis and stepwise multiple regression revealed that educational level, perceived stress, job satisfaction and stressful life events were the independent determinants of psychiatric morbidity. Conclusion: A significant proportion of industrial employees had psychiatric morbidity and many psychosocial factors were associated with caseness.

Work environments are known to influence the psychological functioning of the individual.[sup] [1],[2] In comparison with the general population, industrial workers have the added risk of physical, chemical, biological and other specific psychosocial factors of their occupational environment.[sup] [3] In addition, there are indications that modern mechanisms of production and methods of trade are contributing to an increase in stress risks in industry.[sup] [4] Psychiatric disorders constitute the leading occupational health problems with one-third of all workers reporting adverse psychological effects.[sup] [5]

About 15% of all occupational disabilities are stress related.[sup] [6] Minor psychiatric morbidity is the most common cause for sick leave in industrial occupations.[sup] [7] Compensation claims for all stress-related disorders are growing in number while all other disabling work injuries are decreasing.[sup] [8] Epidemiological studies can explore the relationship between psychiatric morbidity and work environment and their findings may help in prevention of such morbidity.[sup] [9]

The reported prevalence rates of psychiatric morbidity in the Indian industrial population range from 14-37% and can be up to as high as 74% in Western reports.[sup] [10],[11],[12] Most of the prevalence studies in industry noted above were conducted without the use of any specific diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders. Prevalence rates for psychiatric disorders according to epidemiological studies in the general population in India varied from 0.95-13% (estimated prevalence rate of 5.82% was found for 13 Indian epidemiological studies).[sup] [13]

This indicates that the reported industrial rates of psychiatric morbidity have always been higher than that of the general population. Rapid changes in illness status are observed in the industrial population[sup] [14] due to the various influencing factors.[sup] [15] These issues undermine periodic evaluation of mental health status and needs of the industrial employees, which are designed to help develop mental healthcare in industrial set-ups. The specific aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in an industrial set-up and to study the factors associated with the morbidity.

Materials And Methods

The study was conducted in a chemical fertilizer company. All the permanent employees enrolled by the company ( n = 780) were considered as the universe for the study. …

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