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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1995;17(2): 235-248.
The Percieved Health Status of Female Workers and It's Determinants in the Small and Medium Scaled Industries.
Jae Eog Ahn, Joo Ja Kim, Seung Hyun Han
458 female workers working in the small and medium scaled industries in Inchon area were surveyed to study their general characteristics, health behavior, working and environmental conditions, current health status etc. Self-administered questionnaire was developed by authors and distributed to the female workers with the explanation by trained interviewer on the purpose of survey and the method how to answer. The results were as follows: t. General characteristics showed that most(75.3%) of workers were living in their own home, and their age distribution was relatively even from teenagers to the forties. The level of education was high school graduate(including drop-out) in 69.4%, suggesting that the education level of female workers was increasing gradually. The marrital status was 69% in unmarried, and 31% in married state. 2. Survey on their health status showed that more than 20% of female workers complained that they have some kind of disease and most of them complained that they have chronic symptoms more than three kinds. Also, they complained at least two or three symptoms in physical, mental or sensoryneural symptoms respectively. But their medical care utility rate was only 22%. 3. There were no significantly correlated variables between health status and general characteristics(by x2-test). Among the variables on the health behavior, only alcohol drinking was significant to health status. Perceived health status related to the working environment was significantly different to the degree of work satisfaction and awareness for the exposure to harzadous materials. 4. Multivariable analysis showed that work satisfaction, awareness for the exposure to harzadous materials, alcohol drinking, type of employment were significantly related to the physical or mental health index, and also marrital status was to the physical health index. Work satisfaction, awareness for the exposure to harzadous materials, marrital status were related to the sensoryneural health index. Alcohol drinking, work satisfaction, awareness for the exposure to harzadous materials, marrital status were significantly related to the number of complained chronic symptoms. In summary, this study showed that inspite of wide and various range of the general characteristics of female industrial workers in Korea comparing to the past, there was high prevalence of disease due to the poor working conditions and low work satisfaction etc. Therefore, more detailed disease preventive policies or improvement of the work environment, and systematic management to raise the work satisfaction of female workers are urgently needed. And also, occupational health policies increasing the access to health care to provide the adequate health service for the workers who have perceived need are necessary.
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