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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 475–477 | Cite as

The Monitoring and Surveillance of the Psychosocial Work Environment in Canada

A Forgotten Determinant of Health
  • Peter Smith
  • John Frank
  • Cameron Mustard
Commentary

Abstract

The psychosocial working environment is an important determinant of health status and health inequalities in Canada. Particular dimensions of the psychosocial work environment such as low job control, job strain and imbalances between perceived efforts and rewards have been related to cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of mortality in Canada) and poorer mental health status. Despite its importance to the health of Canadians and health inequalities in Canada, the national surveillance of the psychosocial work environment is decreasing. Currently, the surveillance of the psychosocial work environment in Statistic Canada’s population health surveys is limited to convenience-based samples within particular health regions. Not including important dimensions of the health, such as the psychosocial work environment, in our population-based surveys limits the ability of these surveys to help us better understand the challenges and opportunities to reducing health inequalities in Canada.

Keywords

Psychological factors surveillance public health; Canada 

Résumé

L’environnement psychosocial de travail est un important déterminant de l’état de santé et des inégalités en santé au Canada. Certains aspects, comme le manque de liberté de décision, le stress au travail et les déséquilibres entre les efforts et les récompenses perçus, ont été liés aux maladies cardiovasculaires (lesquelles sont la principale cause de mortalité au Canada) et à la dégradation de l’état de santé mentale. Malgré son importance pour la santé des Canadiens et le redressement des inégalités en santé au Canada, la surveillance nationale de l’environnement psychosocial de travail diminue. Aujourd’hui, ce type de surveillance dans les enquêtes sur la santé de la population de Statistique Canada se limite à des échantillons de commodité prélevés dans certaines régions sanitaires. L’absence d’aspects de la santé aussi importants que l’environnement psychosocial de travail dans les enquêtes représentatives canadiennes réduit l’utilité de ces enquêtes lorsqu’il s’agit de comprendre les difficultés et les possibilités de réduire les inégalités en santé au Canada.

Mots clés

facteurs psychologiques surveillance santé publique Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Work & HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Medical ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.The Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoCanada
  4. 4.Canadian Institutes for Health ResearchInstitute of Population and Public HealthTorontoCanada

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