The aim of this study was to confirm the high prevalence of three frequent psychiatric disorders : anxiety, depressive illnesses, and alcohol dependence among ancillary staff, and to examine for occupational risk factors. Two hundred and forty-six women were randomly selected from the ancillary staff of the regional hospital centre of Bordeaux, and 186 subjects were interviewed between June 1996 and October 1997. First, a self-administrated questionnaire was completed concerning socio-economic status, lifestyle, health, and working conditions. Second, the two sections of the composite international diagnosis interview (CIDI), devoted to explore anxiety and depression, and the short Michigan alcoholism screening test (S-MAST) were used.
Mean age of the subjects was 40.8 years (SD = 8.3 years). During the year preceding the interview, 77 (42.5 %) subjects had stopped their job because of illness. Prevalence of the psychiatric disorders studied was 33.9 % (95 % confidence interval, 27.1-40.7 %). These disorders were related to sickness absence. This is why the use of drugs raises questions for work physicians. Two protective factors associated against depression in logistic regression analysis were found: training at the time of employment, and the task ‘cleaning sickroom’.
A high prevalence of psychiatric disorders was confirmed and occupational risk factors for the prevalence of increased psychiatric disorders were isolated that could have practical consequences, such as for the training at time of employment.