Prevalence of Chronic Mental and Physical Disorders, Impact on Work Productivity and Correlates of Alcohol Use Disorders and Nicotine Dependence across Occupations

Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, Mythily Subramaniam, Siow Ann Chong, Vincent Y.F. He, Edimansyah Abdin, Louisa Picco, Wei Yen Lim, Sin Eng Chia

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INTRODUCTION: This study assessed occupational differences in the prevalence of mental and physical disorders in an employed general population sample in Singapore and investigated the impact of these disorders on work productivity losses in terms of work-loss days and work-cutback days. The association of occupation with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and nicotine dependence (ND) was also investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from a population-based mental health survey of a representative sample of multi-ethnic residents aged 18 years and above were used. The World Health Organization's (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was administered to establish the lifetime diagnosis of key mental disorders. Self-report on sociodemographic characteristics, productivity loss, ND, and lifetime physical conditions were obtained. Nine occupational groups were included in this analysis.

RESULTS: The sample comprised 4361 participants with a mean (SD) age of 42.2 (11.9) years, ranging between 19 to 80 years. 'Associate professionals and technicians' (26.2%), 'Services and sales workers' (17.7%) and 'Professionals' (15.4%) were the 3 predominant occupational categories. Sociodemographic characteristics differed significantly across occupations (P <0.001). The lifetime prevalences of having 'any mental disorder' and 'any physical disorder' were 13.0% and 37.9%, respectively; major depressive disorder was the most prevalent mental disorder (5.9%) and hypertension was the most common physical disorder (15.6%). There were no significant differences in work productivity loss across occupations. Sociodemographic and occupational correlates for AUD and ND were identified.

CONCLUSION: Sociodemographic and health disparities exist in the major occupational categories in Singapore. The strength of the associations between occupation and AUD and ND are significant, indicating the need for preventative measures in select occupations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

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