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J Occup Health year 2005 volume 47 number 5 page 378 - 383
Classification Original
Title A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship of Job Stress with Natural Killer Cell Activity and Natural Killer Cell Subsets among Healthy Nurses
Author Yuko MORIKAWA1, Kazuyo KITAOKA-HIGASHIGUCHI2, Chie TANIMOTO2, Midori HAYASHI2,
Reiko OKETANI3, Katsuyuki MIURA1, Muneko NISHIJO1 and Hideaki NAKAGAWA1
Organization 1Department of Public Health, Kanazawa Medical University, 2Department of Nursing, Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University and 3Department of Nursing, Ishikawa Prefectural Takamatsu Hospital, Japan
Keywords Immune function, Job stress, Lymphocyte subset, Natural killer cell, Nurse, CD16, CD56
Correspondence Y. Morikawa, Department of Public Health, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada-machi, Kahoku-gun, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan
(e-mail: ymjr@kanazawa-med.ac.jp)
Abstract A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship of Job Stress with Natural Killer Cell Activity and Natural Killer Cell Subsets among Healthy Nurses: Yuko MORIKAWA, et al. Department of Public Health, Kanazawa Medical University-The present study investigated the effects of job stress on cellular immune function, such as NK cell activity and NK cell subsets. The participants were 61 female nurses aged 23-59, who worked in a public psychiatric hospital in Ishikawa, Japan. Each subject completed the Nursing Job Stressor Scale (NJSS) and their NK cell activity and lymphocyte surface antigens (CD16+56+) were evaluated as immune system parameters. The NJSS has seven subscales: conflict with other nursing staff, nursing role conflict, conflict with physicians or autonomy, conflict with death or dying, quantitative work load, qualitative work load and conflict with patients. Factors influencing NK cell activity, and the proportion and cell counts of CD16+56+ lymphocytes were evaluated. Increase in quantitative work load significantly decreased NK cell activity. Conversely, no linear relationship was observed between qualitative work load and immunological variables, with the highest percentage of CD16+56+ lymphocytes observed among participants in the medium work load group. The other five NJSS subscales did not relate to immune parameters. In conclusion, the results suggest that perceived job strains, particularly quantitative work load, decreased NK cell function.