Chronic fatigue of the small enterprise workers participating in an occupational health checkup center in southern Taiwan.
There has been increasing interest in the occupational health of workers in small enterprises, especially in developing countries. This study examines the association between psychosocial job characteristics and fatigue, and attempts to identify risk factors for fatigue among workers of small enterprises in southern Taiwan. A structured questionnaire was administered to workers receiving regular health examinations between August 2005 and January 2006. The questionnaire collected demographic information and data on working conditions, personal health status and life styles. It also collected information on psychosocial job characteristics, fatigue and psychological distress using three instruments. A total of 647 workers with mean age of 43.7 were completed. Probable fatigue was found in 34.6% of the sample. Fatigue was found by multiple logistic regressions to be associated with the lack of exercise, working in shifts, depression score and lack of social support at workplace. This study found associations between life style, psychosocial job characteristics and fatigue. Because the high prevalence of probable fatigue was found in such small enterprises, the authors suggest that a short interview with some quick questionnaires in health checkup for these small enterprise workers are helpful to early detect psychosocial and fatigue problems.DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0429-2