Job Stress, Coping Strategies, and Perceived Health Status among Thai Female Home-based Workers
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Background: In Thailand, informal, including home-based workers comprise almost two-thirds of the workforce, and 77% of home-based workers are female. In descriptive studies, women home-based workers reported high JOB stress and adverse health effects from home-based work; however, little is known about the effects of jobs stress on health and how coping moderates this relationship. Objective: 1) to determine the effects of job stress and coping strategies on perceived health status; and 2) to determine whether coping strategies moderate the job stress-health relationship. Methods: In this cross sectional study, 300 female home-based weavers from Nan province responded to orally-administered survey questions. The survey included background questions and measures of work environment and job stress (Job Content Questionnaire), coping strategies (Ways of Coping), and perceived health status (SF-36v2). After fitting multiple regression models, simple slopes were plotted to show moderator effects of coping on the job-stress health relationship. Results: The mean age of the samples was 53 (SD 10) years. Most women were married (80%); 30% worked more than 40 hours per week; 33% had more than three dependents; and 48% had a least 1 chronic disease. Education (mean 5; SD 3 years) and monthly income (mean 4091; SD 2332 Baht) were low. Controlling for age, family dependents, chronic diseases, and workplace hazards, job stress and coping did not contribute to physical and mental health independently. The interaction between job stress and problem-focused coping (PFC) was a significant predictor of physical health (F[7, 292]= 21.23, p< .001; β=.45, p= .006). For PFC values at the mean or below, the negative impact of job stress on physical health is stronger as PFC scores decrease, with the steepest effects at PFC scores 2 standard deviations below the mean (marginal effect = -1.2, p=.001). Conclusion: To reduce the negative effects of job stress on the physical health of Thai female home-based weavers, targeted interventions to develop PFC skills should be developed and tested. Using a tiered approach, the dose of the intervention may vary based on levels of PFC.