Korean J Occup Environ Med.  2012 Dec;24(4):375-383.

A Study of Psychosocial Stress of Residents Near Asbestos Mines

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2The Environmental Health Center for Asbestos Related Disease, Chunan Hospital, Soonchunhyang University, Korea. regina94@schmc.ac.kr


The purpose of this study is to identify the level of psychosocial stress of residents near asbestos mines, and to investigate the relationship between psychosocial stress and asbestos exposure history as well as, asbestos exposure awareness.
The survey was conducted in 297 individuals, by one-on-one interviews with a standard questionnaire including demographic characteristics, health status, asbestos exposure history, and awareness of asbestos exposure. The levels of psychosocial stress were measured through the Psychosocial Wellbeing Index-Short Form(PWI-SF). Multivariate logistic regression was conducted using psychosocial stress as a dependent variable. Demographic characteristics, health status, asbestos exposure history, and asbestos exposure awareness were examined as independent variable.
The average PWI-SF score was 17.5 +/- 8.0, with 40 people (13.5%) in the high-risk stress group (PWI-SF 27 points or more). The group having an asbestos-related occupational history had a 2.53 times higher proportion of psychosocial stress (95% CI: 1.03~6.21). The group recognizing asbestos exposure had an even higher proportion of high psychosocial stress group (4.84 times, 95% CI: 1.41~16.55).
The incidence of psychosocial stress is significantly higher in residents near asbestos mines having an asbestos-related occupational history who recognize their frequent asbestos exposure. Therefore, mental health is affected by the awareness of environmental asbestos exposure as well as an occupational exposure to asbestos.


Asbestos; Stress
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