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Report

Health effects of employment

Published Updated

The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services was commissioned by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to conduct a systematic literature search with a subsequent categorization of relevant research. The commission was to identify research published in 2012-2015 on health effects of employment. The aim was to complement an existing systematic review on the subject, published in 2014 by van der Noordt and colleagues.

The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services was commissioned by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to conduct a systematic literature search with a subsequent categorization of relevant research. The commission was to identify research published in 2012-2015 on health effects of employment. The aim was to complement an existing systematic review on the subject, published in 2014 by van der Noordt and colleagues.


About this publication

  • Year: 2015
  • By: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
  • Authors Nøkleby H, Berg R, Nguyen L, Blaasvær N, Kurtze N.
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-969-4

Key message

Methods

We developed a search strategy for a systematic literature search. In May 2015, the search was carried out in social and medical scientific databases. Two researchers independently screened all identified references to assess inclusion according to predefined criteria.

Results

  • The literature search resulted in 7471 references, after duplicates were removed
  • In total, we identified 24 relevant references: 2 potential systematic reviews and 22 primary studies
  • One potential systematic review summarized studies with samples from the general population; the other summarized studies with samples from people with a schizophrenic disorder
  • 17 of the 22 primary studies included samples from the general population, while 5 studies included samples from various patient groups
  • The 17 primary studies with general population samples were categorized into three groups of outcomes:

- 5 studies with psychological outcomes

- 4 studies with physical outcomes

- 8 studies with both psychological and physical outcomes

  • All the 5 primary studies with patient group samples had psychological outcomes

In this systematic literature search we have not read the articles in full and hence not critically evaluated the studies. Based on a reading of the abstracts, the majority of the studies seems to find clear positive correlations between being/becoming employed and health, especially psychological health. A simple synthesis of the study authors’ conclusions therefore indicates that employment may have positive effects on health.