Occupational exposure to home risk factors: analysis of physical and mental health condition of a group of Sicilian housewives.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The work of housewives, in many ways, still lacks professional respect; particularly with respect to the neglect of exposure to risk factors such as: chemical, physical, biological, psychological and accidents. The purpose of this study is to analyze the possible impact of environmental risk factors on the physical and mental health of a group of Sicilian housewives.METHODS: We enrolled housewives living in Palermo and Catania and administered an anonymous questionnaire to obtain knowledge of three factors: (1) the habits of the respondents, (2) the type of house in which they lived and worked, (3) the diseases they suffered. We also administered them a hospital anxiety and depression scale questionnaire. A statistical analysis was performed calculating the p value and a Yates chi square test to compare the percentages of diseases that emerged in three different groups: (1) the sample, (2) an ISTAT report on women of the same average age performing various work tasks ‘other than housework’ and (3) an ISTAT nationwide report on the housewives of the same average age. Finally, we evaluated the average questionnaire scores measuring anxiety and depression, and correlated those scores with age. RESULTS: The sample group consisting of 468 housewives showed high percentage of allergic disorders (35.6%), which is statistically significant when compared to the ISTAT national data on women generally and housewives particularly of the same average age. The evaluation of data on anxiety and depression showed an average score indicating borderline pathology for both (anxiety and depression) and increasing proportionally with increasing age.DISCUSSION: It is considered appropriate to inform society and the scientific community about the issues concerning these housewife workers, who must be regarded as and recognized as workers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)40-45
Numero di pagine6
RivistaPREVENTION & RESEARCH
Volume2016: 5
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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