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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Sep;18(3):232-245. Korean. Original Article.
Kim KH , Kim JW , Kim SH .
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Pusan Paik Hospital, Inje University, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: To measure the job stressors and stress responses among firefighters. METHODS: We created a structured, self-reported questionnaire about job stressors using Karasek's Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), psychosocial stress using Psychosocial Well-being Index, Short Form(PWI-SF) and fatigue using Multidimensional Fatigue Scale (MFS). The questionnaire also included sociodemographic data, job-related factors, and health-related behaviors. We collected questionnaires from 104 male firefighters, 35 male emergency medical service (EMS) rescuers and 28 male administrators in three different municipal fire departments in Busan from September 23 to October 2, 2003. Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to examine the job stressors using SPSS (10.0). The statistical significance level was 0.05. RESULTS: Both PWI-SF and MFS scores increased in the order of EMS rescuers, firefighters and administrators. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, sleep insufficiency showed statistically significant effects on both PWI-SF (OR=5.19, 95% CI=2.14~12.57) and MFS (OR=2.13, 95% CI=1.02~4.46). Alcohol drinking (OR=0.28, 95% CI=0.10~0.75) had a protective effect on MFS. The odds ratios in job loss and shiftwork were 3.44 (95% CI=1.25~9.42) and 8.69 (95% CI=2.87~26.36) on MFS. Monthly income showed a statistically significant effect on both MFS (OR=5.09, 95% CI=1.34~19.41) and sleep sufficiency (OR=7.27, 95% CI=1.62~32.61). However, there was no statistical significance among the JCQ items on either PWI-SF or MFS. CONCLUSIONS: Firefighters in this study had potential psychosocial stress and moderate level of fatigue scale. As a causal factor for these outcomes, sleep insufficiency and job loss, lower monthly income and shiftwork were statistically significantly, which confirm the need for countermeasures to ensure optimal sleep time and to raise monthly income. Further follow-up study using more in-depth interview is also required to identify the effects of both alcohol consumption and job loss.

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