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FSD2580 Eastern Finnish Police Officers 1995-1998: Health and Working Conditions

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Authors

  • Kerkk√§nen, Paavo (University of Joensuu)

Keywords

health, job satisfaction, occupational diseases, occupational safety, personnel policy, police personnel, symptoms, working conditions

Abstract

This study investigated the health, working conditions, job satisfaction and sense of humour of police personnel in Eastern Finland. The data were collected in the years 1995 and 1998 by using questionnaires (a, b, c, h, i), interviews (e, f), health check-ups and fitness tests (g).

The first questions in the occupational health care questionnaire (a) covered how occupational health care was arranged and how satisfied the respondents were with occupational health services. Several questions surveying the respondents' physical and psychosocial health were asked. The respondents were asked whether they desired or needed help and support from occupational health care for different health issues (e.g. losing weight, reducing stress). Factors deteriorating working conditions and job satisfaction were investigated (e.g. poor ergonomics, negative work environment).

The second questionnaire (b) explored the respondents' work-related symptoms (headaches, anxiety, slight fever etc.) Views on job satisfaction were studied in another questionnaire (c), in which the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to atmosphere at work, facilities, wages etc.

Regarding the interviews in which the respondents' views on humour was studied (e, f), this dataset contains only the self-assessment variables. For this self-assessment, the respondents were requested to rate their own sense of humour on a scale of 4-10 (4 being the lowest). In 1998, the respondents were also asked how they would rate their sense of humour in a situation in which they were the target of good-humoured jokes and in a situation in which they were the target of malicious/agressive humour.

The results of health check-ups and fitness tests (g) included, among others, height, weight and blood pressure measurements. Blood tests were performed on the respondents to investigate their cholesterol, HDL-cholsterol, gamma GT and hemoglobin levels. The fitness tests included the UKK Walk test, a press-up and a chin-up test.

The Bergen Burnout Indicator (BBI) (questionnaire h) was used to survey how the respondents coped with workload stress. The indicator had 25 statements relating to the amount of work, work-life balance, physical and mental demands of the job etc. The Work Ability Index (WAI) (questionnaire i) investigated the respondents' capacity to work at the time of survey and in relation to the demands of the job, health problems affecting work, sick leave in the previous 12 months, estimation of own work ability in the future, and psychosocial health.

The background variables included the respondent's gender, age, basic education, vocational education, main duties at work and working time (i.e. shift work or standard work hours)

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