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Overcommitment to work is associated with vital exhaustion

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Abstract

Objectives: Vital exhaustion has been shown to predict the progression and manifestation of cardiovascular disease. Little is known about the relationship between vital exhaustion and overcommitment, the inability to withdraw from obligations at work. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between vital exhaustion and overcommitment at work, as measured by the intrinsic-effort scale of the effort–reward model after consideration of other potentially salutogenetic and pathogenetic working conditions. Methods: This cross-sectional study is based on a stratified random sample of 634 employees (mean age 39.9 years, standard deviation 10.7 years) from a manufacturing and assembly plant for aeroplane parts. Participants completed a questionnaire, which included the nine-item shortened Maastricht exhaustion questionnaire to score the dependent variable exhaustion, and the six-item short form of the intrinsic-effort scale (“immersion”) of the effort–reward-imbalance model as the primary independent variable. Perceived work stress was assessed by Siegrist’s effort–reward-imbalance questionnaire and the 52-item, 13 subscale salutogenetic subjective work assessment (SALSA) questionnaire, which focuses on indicators of perceived work stress in terms of pathogenetic and salutogenetic descriptors of decision latitude, psychological job demands, and social support. Additional candidate covariates included depression, anxiety and type-D personality. Results: In regression analysis, overcommitment (r=0.516; P<0.0001) was independently associated with vital exhaustion. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that overcommitment explained 27% of the variance of vital exhaustion. Conclusions: Overcommitment, indicating an exhaustive work-related coping style, is independently associated with vital exhaustion. It appears to be an important personality trait that may contribute to feelings of exhaustion at times of increased job strain.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the EADS GmbH, Werk Augsburg, Germany.

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Correspondence to Joachim E. Fischer.

Appendix

Appendix

  Short version of the overcommitment questionnaire

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Preckel, D., Känel, R.v., Kudielka, B.M. et al. Overcommitment to work is associated with vital exhaustion. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 78, 117–122 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-004-0572-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-004-0572-8

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