Work and psychological distress among public school teachers in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia State, Brazil


Francisco R Mesa
Ana María Kaempffer

A cross-sectional study with all the teachers in the municipal school system in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia State, Brazil, investigated the association between work content (psychological demand and control over work) and the occurrence of minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) among teachers. The Karasek demand-control model was used to evaluate control over work. The Self-Report Questionnaire-20 was used to evaluate minor psychiatric disorders. MPD prevalence was 55.9{20a60b73a1cda07ce2433237b967754d6e53d5d16fc2e14f7e109f91f7e5e586} among the 808 teachers studied. Crude prevalence of MPD showed a positive and significant association with psychological demand and a negative and significant association with control over work. MPD prevalence was higher in teachers with highly demanding work, characterized by heavy demand and low control (PR = 1.74; 95{20a60b73a1cda07ce2433237b967754d6e53d5d16fc2e14f7e109f91f7e5e586}CI: 1.44- 2.10), and in those with active work, with heavy demand and low control (PR = 1.35; 95{20a60b73a1cda07ce2433237b967754d6e53d5d16fc2e14f7e109f91f7e5e586}CI: 1.13-1.61), as compared to teachers with lowdemand work (light demand and high control), after adjusting for confounders in a multiple logistic regression model. As a conclusion, teachers’ mental health is strongly associated with their work content.