August/September 2015 (vol. 12/2)

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Research Plus

Under threat of dismissal

There is a causal relationship between job insecurity and depression, according to a longitudinal study of 6,275 individuals in Sweden. Participants completed questionnaires in 2008, 2010 and 2012, which included questions on whether or not they felt under threat of dismissal from work. Depression symptoms were assessed using a subscale of the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. Feeling under threat of dismissal significantly predicted major depression symptoms two years later (odds ratio (OR) after adjustment for confounders = 1.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.81). Threats of dismissal reported in consecutive questionnaires further increased the risk of subsequent depression symptoms (OR = 1.74; CI 1.09–2.78). Having depression symptoms was also significantly predictive of threats of dismissal two years later (OR = 1.52; CI 1.17– 1.98).

Threats of dismissal and symptoms of major depression: a study using repeat measures in the Swedish working population. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2015; online first: doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-205405. 


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2015 (vol. 12/2) pp39