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J Occup Health year 2007 volume 49 number 5 page 370 - 375
Classification Original
Title The Association of the Reporting of Somatic Symptoms with Job Stress and Active Coping among Japanese White-collar Workers
Author Kyoko NOMURA, Mutsuhiro NAKAO, Mikiya SATO, Hirono ISHIKAWA and Eiji YANO
Organization Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Japan
Keywords Active coping, Job Content Questionnaire, Job control, Job stress, Somatic symptoms
Correspondence K. Nomura, Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Teikyo University School of Medicine, 2-11-1 Kaga, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8605, Japan
(e-mail: kyoko@med.teikyo-u.ac.jp)
Abstract The Association of the Reporting of Somatic Symptoms with Job Stress and Active Coping among Japanese White-collar Workers: Kyoko NOMURA, et al. Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Teikyo University School of Medicine-To assess the associations between job stress and somatic symptoms and to investigate the effect of individual coping on these associations. In July 2006, a cross-sectional study was conducted during a periodic health check-up of 185 Japanese male office workers (21-66 yr old) at a Japanese company. Job stress was measured by job demand, control, and strain (=job demand/control) based on the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). Major somatic symptoms studied were headache, dizziness, shoulder stiffness, back pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, general fatigue, sleep disturbance, and skin itching. Five kinds of coping were measured using the Job Stress Scale: active coping, escape, support seeking, reconciliation, and emotional suppression. Comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, and anxiety were also evaluated. The most frequently cited somatic symptom was general fatigue (66%), followed by shoulder stiffness (63%) and sleep disturbance (53%). Of the five kinds of coping, only "active coping" was significantly and negatively associated with the number of somatic symptoms. The generalized linear models showed that the number of somatic symptoms increased as job strain index (p=0.001) and job demand (p=0.001) became higher, and decreased as active coping (p=0.018) increased, after adjusting for age and comorbidities. There was no statistical interaction among active coping, the number of somatic symptoms, and the three JCQ scales. Reporting somatic symptoms may be a simple indicator of job stress, and active coping could be used to alleviate somatization induced by job stress.