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Working hours and common mental disorders in English police officers

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posted on 2016-11-03, 15:10 authored by Jonathan Houdmont, Raymond RandallRaymond Randall
Background: There is a paucity of evidence on working hours and their psychological correlates in police officers of the federated ranks in England. Aims: An exploratory study to establish the extent to which a sample of English police officers worked long hours and the association between long working hours and common mental disorder (CMD). Methods: Officers of the federated ranks (constable, sergeant, inspector) from two English county forces completed a questionnaire to report their typical weekly working hours and symptoms of CMD. We also collected socio- and occupational-demographic data. We defined long working hours as ≥49 hours in a typical week in accordance with 48-hour weekly limit specified in the 1993 European Directive on the Organisation of Working Time. We established associations between long working hours and self-reported CMDs using binary logistic regression to generate ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for potential confounding variables. Results: 27% (N=327/1226) of respondents reported long working hours. The odds ratios for psychological distress (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.57-2.68), emotional exhaustion (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.52-2.59), and depersonalisation (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00-1.71) were significantly increased for long working hours after adjustment for socio- and occupational-demographic characteristics. Conclusions: More than one quarter of sampled police officers reported working long hours, and were significantly more likely to report CMD. National and longitudinal research is required to confirm these findings, which suggest management of working hours may effectively promote psychological wellbeing.



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Occupational Medicine


HOUDMONT, J. and RANDALL, R., 2016. Working hours and common mental disorders in English police officers. Occupational Medicine, 66(9), pp.713-718.


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Occupational Medicine following peer review. The version of record HOUDMONT, J. and RANDALL, R., 2016. Working hours and common mental disorders in English police officers. Occupational Medicine, 66(9), pp.713-718 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqw166.




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