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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-116

Investigating the relationship of mental health with job stress and burnout in workers of metal industries


1 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Engineering Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasagan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
5 Department of Healthcare Management, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan; Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, School of Pharmacy, Students' Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran; Research Center for Health Services Management, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Date of Web Publication17-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Elahe Khorasani
Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, School of Pharmacy, Students' Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.178867

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  Abstract 

Introduction: Since job stress and burnout are considered as basic factors in reducing efficacy and engendering physical and mental side effects, the present study was conducted with the aim of determining the mental health state and its relationship with job stress and burnout. Methods: The present study is a descriptive-analytical one which uses a cross-sectional design. In line with the research objectives, 125 workers of the metal industry were randomly selected. To collect data, the Demographic Characteristics Questionnaire, the Goldberg General Health Questionnaire, the US Institute of Mental Health Job Stress Questionnaire, and Maslach Job Burnout Inventory (with Chronbach's alpha coefficients of 0.89, 0.92, and 0.86, respectively) were used. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS-20. Results: The mean scores of mental health, job stress, and burnout are 47.97 ± 10.8, 147.54 ± 17.8, and 54.69 ± 13.94, respectively. According to Pearson correlation coefficient, mental health has a direct correlation with job stress and burnout. It means that by increasing the degree of job stress and burnout, the mental health state was unfavorable. Conclusions: Regarding the results of the present study in which there is a direct correlation between mental stress on job stress and burnout. If job stress and burnout in workplaces are not identified and controlled, they have negative effects on general health. Therefore, by identifying the resources and reasons of occurring job stress and burnout, and presenting practical and applied strategies for coping with and preventing the occurrence of job stress and burnout can supply and retain general health of the workers in workplaces.

Keywords: Burnout, job stress, mental health, metal industries, workers


How to cite this article:
Hosseini SM, Habibi E, Barakat S, Ahanchi N, Fooladvand M, Khorasani E. Investigating the relationship of mental health with job stress and burnout in workers of metal industries. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2016;2:111-6

How to cite this URL:
Hosseini SM, Habibi E, Barakat S, Ahanchi N, Fooladvand M, Khorasani E. Investigating the relationship of mental health with job stress and burnout in workers of metal industries. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Aug 24];2:111-6. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2016/2/2/111/178867


  Introduction Top


Work and workplaces always can be effective on individuals' mental health and consequently, they cause enhancement or reduction in their activities. Life faces human beings with stressful triggers and they bear low or high mental pressures dangerous for them. In a lot of investigations, it has been identified that environments are effective on mental functions.[1] The WTO defines general health as enjoying full physical, mental, and social comfort, and not just not suffering from diseases or maim.[2]

One of the problems resulting from environments is job stress; if it is felt extensively and for a long time by an individual, it is probable that the symptoms become definite and result in burnout for the individual.[1] According to the definition of the National Institute for Occupational safety, job stress occurs when there is no compatibility between job needs and abilities, capabilities and demands of an individual. In this definition, in addition to the lack of coordination with abilities and capabilities of an individual, his personal demands are considered.[3],[4],[5]

Stress can be costly for individuals who suffer from it and for institute and productive units. Side-effects resulting from stress appear in the forms of mental and physical fatigue, irritability, anxiety and irascibility, high blood pressure, lack of self-confidence and job satisfaction, lack of work motivation, reduction in productivity, etc.[6],[7] In different studies, it was identified that approximately 30 percent of workforces in developed countries suffer from stress, while the degree of job stress in developing countries is higher.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] In a study conducted by Kawakami and Haratani, it was identified that job stress is considered as the most powerful factor creating mental disorders especially depression.[9] In addition, the results of studies have confirmed the role of job stressors in 37 percent of events and damages occurring in industries.[10] In the study conducted in Korea on firefighters, job stress was considered to be related to the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders resulting from jobs and for the occurrence of this disorders, the project of job stress management seems necessary.[11]

On the other hand, job burnout is a psychological response to stress that is along with features such as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal competence.[12],[13] Research has indicated that job burnout is related to frequent absences, early retirement, poor performance, decreased quality of work, low self-esteem, and psychologically to symptoms of depression.[14] In a research, the reasons of job burnout have been considered as the pressure of overload, lack of proficiency in the process of work, lack of remuneration, lack of communication among colleagues, injustice in the payment of wages, the individual's worthlessness and the dichotomy between personal and occupational values.[15] In Finland, a study was conducted among the workers in the service sector and its results indicated that job burnout is related to muscle problems of women and cardiovascular diseases in men.[16]

In different studies, mental health and job stress and burnout have been investigated from different perspectives. Bahar and Konani in determining the relationship between job burnout and mental health among teachers of physical education in Lorestan Province, reported that there are a reverse and significant correlation between job burnout and general health of teachers in such a way that those who suffer from high levels of job burnout have less levels of general health.[2] Nastiezaie et al. in investigating the relationship of job burnout with general health of the staff working in Zahedan Directorate General of Telecommunications indicated that there is a significant correlation between job burnout and general health and its sub-dimensions: Emotional fatigue with anxiety and sleep disorder and general health, depersonalization with general health, anxiety and sleep disorders with job burnout, lack of personal accomplishment with social relationships disorder.[17]

In investigating high school teachers of Tehran, reported that there is a positive and significant correlation between variables of job burnout including emotional fatigue and depersonalization with variables of mental health including physical complaints, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, aggression, panic, paranoia and mental breakdowns.[18] In a study conducted by Kawakami and Haratani, it was identified that job burnout is considered as the most powerful factor of creating mental disorders particularly depression.[9]

Regarding the effect of job stress and burnout on individuals' mental health and the necessity of investigating the degree of this effect on the workers of metal industries due to pressures of workload, the present study was conducted with the aim of determining the mental health state and tis relationship with job stress and burnout.


  Methods Top


The present study is a descriptive analytical one employing a cross-sectional design conducted in 2012. The population included workers of metal industries in the city of Isfahan among which 125 were selected as the sample size using the random sampling method. These workers worked in plants and workshops of metal industries in Isfahan. To collect data, the simple random sampling method was used. The data were collected only in the morning shift without considering individuals' organizational positions because our population included workers and these individuals did not have any particular organizational position. Data collection was conducted by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-28 and the Job Stress and Burnout Questionnaire. Including criteria included being worker in metal industries and excluding criteria included intendancy to complete questionnaires. The questionnaires employed in the present study are as follows:

  • The first stage: The demographic characteristics questionnaire including variables of age, gender, marital status, years of services, the workload per a week, and shift work
  • The second stage: GHQ with 28 items was employed. This questionnaire was developed by Goldberg for the first time in 1972. It includes three 12, 28, and 60 items forms. The 28 items form of the questionnaire was employed in the present study. It has four scales of A, B, C, and D and each scale includes 7 items measuring four sets of nonpsychotic disorders including somatization, anxiety and sleep disorders, social dysfunction, and depression and suicide trends. Sub-scales indicate the symptomatic aspects and are not necessarily equivalent to psychological diagnoses. To each answer, a score ranging from 0 to 3 was assigned and at last, the score 23 and higher scores indicated the lack of mental health and scores lower than 23 indicated mental health.[19] Najafi et al. obtained the reliability of the questionnaire as 0.89 using the test-retest technique [20]
  • The third stage: The Job Stress Questionnaire approved by the US Institute of Mental Health with trustworthiness 93 percent, including 57 items developed in a five-point Likert scale. The scores <33 had less stress, scores ranging from 34 to 66 indicated the moderate level stress, and the scores higher than 67 showed high-level stress. The translation of the Job Stress Questionnaire into Persian and determining its validity and reliability in Iran was conducted by Mohammad Fam et al.[21]
  • The fourth stage: In the Maslach Burnout Inventory was used. This questionnaire is the most common instrument of measuring job burnout and includes 22 items and covers each three aspects of job burnout. Nine sections was related to emotional fatigue, 6 items was related to depersonalization, and 7 items were related to the lack of personal competence. Ranking the frequency of these emotions is from 0 (never) to 6 (every day). The sub-scores obtained for each of the three aspects are located in low, moderate, and high sets based on the resource score. Maslach and Jackson calculated the internal consistency for the reach of the sub-test and the internal consistency of the questionnaire Chronbach's alpha coefficients were reported from 0.71 to 0.90 and its test-retest coefficients from 0.60 to 0.80. Najafi et al. calculated the reliability of this test as 0.86 via Chornbach's alpha.[20] In addition, this questionnaire was frequently used by Iranian researchers and was confirmed with validity higher than 0.90.


For observing moral considerations, after talking with individuals and satisfying them to participate in the study, questionnaires were completed. For completing questionnaires, the researchers referred to the plants and workshops of metal industries in the city of Isfahan in the morning shift work. After completing questionnaires and collecting them, the data were analyzed using SPSS-20 (IBM, US) and by Pearson correlation coefficient technique.


  Results Top


To determine the mental health state and its relationship with job stress and burnout, 125 workers of metal industries were selected as participants [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of the investigated population

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The findings of the table indicate that 98.4 percent of the participates were men, 76 percent married, 45.6 percent were <30 years old, 32.8 percent were from 30 to 40 years old, 14.14 percent were from 40 to 50 years old, and 7.46 percent of them were above 50 years old. The average working hours of the participants was 51 h and the average years of service was 12.16 years.

[Table 2] indicates the mean scores of mental health, job stress burnout in the investigated population. According to the obtained results, all workers had high mean scores of mental health and job stress as 22 and 67, respectively. In other words, all workers suffered from unfavorable mental health state and high job stress levels.
Table 2: The mean scores of mental health, job stress and burnout

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[Table 3] indicates the correlation of mental health with job stress, burnout, years of services, and working hours per a week. According to the obtained results, mental health had direct correlation with job stress and burnout. In other words, with the increase in the degree of job stress and burnout (the increase in the scores of job stress and burnout) the state of mental health becomes unfavorable (the increase in the score of mental health) and this correlation is meaningful.
Table 3: Correlation coefficients of mental health with job stress and burnout, years of service, and working hours

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  Discussion Top


Regarding the fact that the present study was conducted in an industrial environment, most of the participants were men (98.4 percent) and more than a half of them were married (74 percent). The average of working hours was 51 ± 12.27 and the average of years of service was 12.16 ± 10.

The mean scores of mental health and job stress in the investigated individuals are 47.97 and 147.54, respectively, and all of them suffered from unfavorable mental health states and high job stress. In the study conducted on nurses in which the mean scores obtained from the Mental Health Questionnaire-28 was 23.29, and 43 percent of the nurses had symptoms, and 57 percent of them did not symptoms.[22] Cooper and Sutherland investigated the degree of mental health in the staff of the US oil industries compared with the public. The results indicated that the staff working in this unit had less mental health levels than the public did.[23] In a research conducted by Saberi et al. on the judges and prosecutors, 32.7 percent of them suffered from low to moderate levels of problems in terms of general health and only 4.9 percent of them were at high and very high levels of problems in terms of mental health.[24]

The mean scores of job stress in the investigated individuals was 147.54. In other words, the participants suffered from high levels of job stress and these results were consistent with other studies.[25],[26],[27] In workplaces, factors such as high workload, high work speed, the lack of social support, etc., cause the occurrence of stress in individuals.[3]

The mean scores of job burnout in participants was 54.69 and 77.6 percent of them were at the moderate level of job burnout. The results of the present study was consistent with the results of studies conducted by Bahribinabaj et al. on nurses. They report that 78.2 percent of the nurses were at the moderate level of job burnout.[28] Da Silva et al. reported the level of job burnout in the population as moderate.[29]

According to the results of the study, mental health had a significant correlation with job stress in such a way that high levels of job stress resulted in reducing general health. Hashemzadeh et al. indicated that there is a significant correlation between mental health and job stress in the staff of hospitals.[30] Researchers also indicated that there is a direct correlation between job stress and mental health as well as job performance.[31] According to the report of Woods, job stress can result in poor physical health, the reduction in performance levels, job dissatisfaction and absence from work.[32] In addition, mental health had a direct correlation with job burnout; in other words, the increase in the score of job burnout results in the increase in the score of mental health. These results are consistent with the studies done by Najafi et al., Bauer et al., Lindblom et al., etc.[20],[33],[34],[35],[36]

The results of a study on nurses working in Canadian hospitals indicated that high workload is the most important reason for stress.[37] However, other findings in physical environments, contact with chemicals, noise, light and continuous responsibility are among the most important stressful resources.[38],[39],[40],[41],[42] In addition, from among factors affecting on job burnout, one can refer to the lack of social support, conflict with colleagues, high workload, low wages and benefits, lack of teamwork, lack of support from managers and supervisors, job insecurity, lack of ideas, lack of in-service training, and rotating shifts.[43],[44],[45],[46],[47]


  Conclusion Top


Regarding the results of the present study in which there is a direct correlation between mental stress on job stress and burnout. If job stress and burnout in workplaces are not identified and controlled, they have negative effects on general health. not only do these negative effects cause the occurrence of mental and physical side-effects, but also since the workers of metal industries as human capitals in each country, they have significant roles in economic development and result in increase in absenteeism, events, reduction in work motivation, reduction in job satisfaction, and at last, reduction in economic productivity and development which personally, socially, and in family terms have negative effects. Therefore, by identifying the resources and reasons of occurring job stress and burnout, and presenting practical and applied strategies for coping with and preventing the occurrence of job stress and burnout can supply and retain general health of the workers in workplaces. In this line, it is suggested that stressors and factors causing burnout, different in terms of the work type and work conditions, should be identified and controlled.

Acknowledgment

The present study was conducted with the sponsorship of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. The authors are sincerely grateful of the Deputy of Students' Affairs and authorities of Metal Industries as well as all workers and staff working in related workshops who assisted us in conducting the present study.

Financial support and sponsorship

This paper is derived from MSc thesis in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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