Volume 934 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 39-75


Psychosocial Job Stress and Immunity: A Systematic Review

  • Akinori NakataAffiliated withDivision of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 

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The purpose of this review was to provide current knowledge about the possible association between psychosocial job stress and immune parameters in blood, saliva, and urine. Using bibliographic databases (PubMed, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Medline) and the snowball method, 56 studies were found. In general, exposure to psychosocial job stress (high job demands, low job control, high job strain, job dissatisfaction, high effort–reward imbalance, overcommitment, burnout, unemployment, organizational downsizing, economic recession) had a measurable impact on immune parameters (reduced NK cell activity, NK and T cell subsets, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and increased inflammatory markers). The evidence supports that psychosocial job stresses are related to disrupted immune responses but further research is needed to demonstrate cause–effect relationships.

Key words

Psychosocial job stress Immune system Psychoneuroimmunology Systematic review Work environment