Psychosocial Work Environment in Different Romanian Activity Fields

The psychosocial work environment is generally considered to be one of the most important work environment issues in contemporary and future societies. The last EU Commission Report emphasized the emerging psychosocial work risks and the necessity of risk assessment under these circumstances. The assessment of the psychosocial risk factors involves using valid and reliable measurement tools and taking into account the difficulty of measurement in psychosocial scientific area. We considered the multitude of different models and theories in this area as well as the statement generally validated that the theory determines the instruments and, sometimes, the results.
Autor principal: 
Raluca
Iordache
The National Research and Development Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Rumania
Coautores: 
Viorica
Petreanu
The National Research and Development Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Rumania

Introduction

The psychosocial work environment is generally considered to be one of the most important work environment issues in contemporary and future societies. The last EU Commission Report emphasized the emerging psychosocial work risks and the necessity of risk assessment under these circumstances. The assessment of the psychosocial risk factors involves using valid and reliable measurement tools and taking into account the difficulty of measurement in psychosocial scientific area.

We considered the multitude of different models and theories in this area as well as the statement generally validated that the theory determines the instruments and, sometimes, the results.

As tool for the assessment of the psychosocial work environment was selected The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) – as the questionnaire which fulfill the criteria of clear theoretical basis, consideration of the risk factors who already have proved to affect the employees health state and the acceptable. This questionnaire was adapted and validated in Romania, in order to develop a standardized method to be used in research of the psychosocial factors.

The study involved the specialists of Ergonomic Department of the National Research and Development Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Romania, with the acceptance of the experts of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark.

Objective

The main objectives of the study, part of a large ergonomic research, were: to adapt and validate the Romanian version of the COPSOQ and to assess the work environment in different work fields in Romania.

Methodology

Taking into account that the population of different countries present different socio-cultural and demographic characteristics, the translation and adaptation of the original questionnaire and the realisation of the Romanian version was a necessity.

The adaptation process was based on the translation and back translation method. The following steps were run through (see Table 1 below):

  1. Translation in Romanian from English version of COPSOQ.

(the first version was carried out)

  1. Re-translation of the first version back to English.
  1. Comparison between the first and the retroverted English versions.

(for equalize the senses of all terms used in the questionnaire)

  1. Correction of the first Romanian version.

(important step in error correction and especially in adapting the senses in Romanian language).

  1. Testing the Romanian version in a pilot study.
  1. Final corrections and establishing the final Romanian version.

Table 1. Steps followed during adaptation process of COPSOQ in Romanian language.

A group of 30 subjects were involved in the pilot study, in order to verify the comprehensibility degree of the translated terms and the acceptability level of the questionnaire. The subjects were also required to specify the terms / phrase they did not understand or which they could attach multiple significances.

Afterwards, a representative population based survey of the employed population in different Romanian work fields was developed and the psychosocial risk factors and stress level were assessed.

Participants:

The survey required the participation of 1000 employees in different activity fields in Romania: public administration, energetic field etc. The results were also analyzed taking into account both activity field variable and the education level (white and blue-collar workers).

Results

Romanian version of COPSOQ: “Chestionarul Copenhaga de Evaluare a Factorilor Psihosociali” (“CCEFPs”)

The Romanian version of the COPSOQ (“CCEFPs”) is equivalent to the original English version.

In Romanian version some of the scales names were changed in order to increase the acceptability level. Therefore, “Quantitative demands” scale became “Quantitative – temporal demands”.

“Sensorial demands” became “Sensorial – perceptive demands”, and a new item on acoustical demands in work task performing was added.

Social relations became Possibilities of communication.

Assessment of the work psychosocial environment:

The assessment of the work environment emphasized medium and high psychological demands (especially, cognitive and sensorial demands) for all investigated occupational categories. The sense of community, social support and meaning of work came out much better than the other psychosocial factors. The health profile is good for all the occupational categories and stress level appeared to be low. The Figure 1, below listed, presents the levels of stress factors for some studied activities in the project.

The COPSOQ gives a comprehensive and multi-faceted picture of the work environment in different Romanian work fields.

Regarding the psychosocial environment, this seems to be better for the white-collar employees.

Also, the emotional demands seem to be apparently professional specific, but studying the enterprise specificity and inter-organisations researches are important. The same type of researches should be carried out regarding the Sense of community.

Acknowledgement

We like to thank Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø, especially Professor Tage S. Kristensen, for accepting our request to translate and adapt the COPSOQ in order to develop a Romanian version of this questionnaire and the support during the process. We also thank all our collaborators during this project.

References

  • 1. Kristensen T.S., Hannerz H., Høgh A., Borg V. (2005). Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire – a tool for the assessment and improvement of the psychosocial work environment, Scand J Work Environ Health, 31(6):438449
  • 2. Kristensen T.S. (2001). Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. In: Hagberg M et al (Eds.). Exposure Assessment in epidemiology and practice. Arbete och Hälsa, 10: 210213.
  • 3. Kristensen T.S., Borg V., Hannerz H. (2002). Socioeconomic status and psychosocial work environment: results from a Danish national study. Scand J Public Health. 30:4148.
  • 4. Leka, S.,  Jain, A.,   WiderszalBazyl, M., ŻołnierczykZreda, D.,  Zwetsloot, G. Developing a standard for psychosocial risk management: PAS 1010. In: Safety Science, vol. 49, Issue 7, August 2011, pp. 10471057

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