A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the risk factors of job-related depression in laboratory technicians in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) and Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) Hospitals in Kelantan, between September 2001 and February 2002. One hundred and two laboratory technicians from HUSM and 79 from KKM Hospitals were selected and 84 (82.4%) from HUSM and 71 (89.9%) from KKM Hospitals were recruited as study subjects. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaire using the validated Malay version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), originally developed by Robert Karasek. The results indicated significant associations between the risk factors of job-related depression, and low social support, and high psychological demands (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.1-8.8) in laboratory technicians in HUSM. However, for laboratory technicians in KKM Hospitals, the significant association was between job-related depression, and low social support and low decision authority (OR 9.7, 95% CI 1.1-91.1). Low social support was highly associated with job-related depression in laboratory technicians in HUSM and KKM Hospitals. We, therefore, conclude that low social support positively predicted depression in laboratory technicians in HUSM and KKM Hospitals. In addition, high psychological demands also significantly predicted depression in laboratory technicians in HUSM; however, for laboratory technicians in KKM Hospitals, low decision authority was the significant predictor of depression.
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