Relationship between the Onset of Depression and Stress Response Measured by the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire among Japanese Employees: A Cohort Study

Wada, Keiko; Sairenchi, Toshimi; Haruyama, Yasuo; Taneichi, Hiromi; Ishikawa, Yumiko; Muto, Takashi
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The proportion of Japanese workers experiencing intense worry or stress during working life is in excess of 60%, and the incidence of psychiatric disorders and suicide due to psychological burden from work duties is increasing. To confirm whether the stress response measured by the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) can identify risk for depression, a cohort study was conducted to evaluate whether the stress response measured by BJSQ was associated with the onset of depression. Methods: A total of 1,810 participants aged 20–70 years in 2005 completed the stress response of the BJSQ and were followed-up until August, 2007 by examining sick pay records. Depression was defined by a description in sick pay records that included “depression” or “depressive symptoms” as a reason for sick leave according to a physician's medical certificate. The participants were divided into quartiles (Ql, Q2, Q3, and Q4) according to the total stress response score of BJSQ at baseline. Furthermore, the participants were divided into a higher score category (Q4) and a lower score category (Q1–Q3). Risk ratios of the stress response of the BJSQ for onset of depression were calculated using a multivariable Cox proportional hazard model. Results: Among 1,810 participants, 14 developed depression during a mean of 1.8 years of follow-up. The risk ratio was 2.96 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–8.42, p for trend = 0.002) when the higher stress response score category of BJSQ was compared with the low stress response score category for sick leave due to depression. After adjusting for gender, age, marital status, and having children, the risk ratios were similar to no adjustment. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the stress response measured by the BJSQ can demonstrate risk for the onset of depression.


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