Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

A Study on Professional Stress, Depression and Alcohol Use among Indian IT Professionals

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

A Study on Professional Stress, Depression and Alcohol Use among Indian IT Professionals

Article excerpt

Byline: M. Darshan, Rajesh. Raman, T. Sathyanarayana Rao, Dushad. Ram, Bindu. Annigeri

Background: Stress has touched almost all professions posing threat to mental and physical health. India being the Information Technology (IT) hub with lakhs involved as IT Professionals, there is a need to assess prevalence of professional stress, depression and problem alcohol use and understand their association. Objectives: (1) To screen for the prevalence of professional stress, risk for depression and harmful alcohol use among software engineers. (2) To study the association between professional stress, risk for depression and harmful alcohol use. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional online study conducted using screeing questionnaires like professional life stress scale, centre for epidemiological studies depression scale and alcohol use disorders identification test. This study was conducted specifically on professionals working in an IT firm with the designation of a software engineer. Results: A total of 129 subjects participated in the study. 51.2% of the study sample was found to be professionally stressed at the time of the interview. 43.4% of the study population were found to be at risk for developing depression. 68.2% of those who were professionally stressed were at risk for developing depression compared with only 17.5% of those who were not professionally stressed. Odds ratio revealed that subjects who were professionally stressed had 10 times higher risk for developing depression compared to those who were not professionally stressed. Subjects who were professionally stressed had 5.9 times higher prevalence of harmful alcohol use compared to those who were not professionally stressed. Subjects who were at risk for developing depression had 4.1 times higher prevalence of harmful alcohol use compared with those who were not at risk for developing depression. Conclusion: Such higher rates of professional stress, risk for developing depression and harmful alcohol use among software engineers could hinder the progress of IT development and also significantly increase the incidence of psychiatric disorders.

Introduction

Stress has touched almost all professions posing threat to mental and physical health. Work related stress in the employee, consequently affects the health of the entire organization. [sup][1] National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of U.S Department of Health and Human Services, states that "job stress, now more than ever, poses a greater threat to the health of workers and the health of the organisations". [sup][2] Interest in professional stress research is growing primarily because of the increasing incidence of the adverse effects of profession on psychological and physical health of emplyoees. [sup][3] IT company jobs are known to be more competitive and stressful because of their nature of work like target achievements, night shift, work overload. [sup][1] Also software development process is a learning and communication process requiring greater interaction with the clients, deep understanding of the business process, and insight into technological innovations. These situations puts pressure on the professionals resulting in professional stress. [sup][4] India being a forerunner in the IT industry with lakhs involved as IT professionals. There is an urgent need to understand the dynamics of the IT professional stress and its associated psychiatric morbidities so as to prevent it from assuming epidemic proportion. No available study has been done in India which screened and associated professional stress, risk for developing depression and harmful alcohol use among IT Professionals.

Objectives

*To screen for the prevalence of professional stress, risk for developing depression and harmful alcohol use among software engineers. *To study the association between professional stress, risk for developing depression and harmful alcohol use. …

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