Les problèmes de santé physique et mentale au travail dans le réseau de la santé: comprendre les causes et y remédier

In Quebec, nearly 340,000 people work in the health and social services network. As of May 7, 2022, 60,000 of them were temporarily absent from work, according to the department of Health and Social Services Scoreboard.

Many representatives within the health sector have expressed their concerns about not being able to provide safe services to the population, especially as the summer approaches. Those in charge within the network are therefore faced with the challenges of optimizing the health of the population and ensuring the presence at work of a workforce that is generally older than in other sectors. This older workforce is at greater risk of health problems and absenteeism. In particular, people aged 45 and over are over-represented among those suffering from musculoskeletal pain and those affected by burnout.

What levers can be used to respond to these occupational health issues? This study by Carl-Ardy Dubois, Dean and Full Professor at the School of Public Health of the Université de Montréal and CIRANO Fellow, carried out in collaboration with five other experts, provides answers based on a rich analytical framework that makes it possible to identify the best course of actions to address the challenges.

In terms of prevention, the authors conclude that beyond interventions of a merely cognitive or behavioural nature, more extensive interventions aimed at adapting organizational conditions and the psychosocial work environment must be considered. Organizations can act by creating favourable working conditions and contexts: having greater decision-making latitude in the exercise of one's work and benefiting from peer support act as protective factors that reduce the risks of musculoskeletal disorders and mental and psychological health problems at work.

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