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Functional diagnosis as a tool in rehabilitation: a comparison of teachers

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By Berg JE, Berg O, Reiten T, Kostveit S • www.ProHealth.com • September 2, 1998


Work-related stress and burnout has been observed in primary school
teachers in many countries. Functional deficits have been
related to certain psychosomatic diagnoses and the work
environment. We have compared 100 teachers with a matched
group of non-teachers according to diagnostic differences, all
attending a 4 week resident stay at a vocational
rehabilitation centre in 1993-5. Seventy-five percent were
women. The use of ICD-9 diagnoses and a five-dimensional
functional diagnostic tool were compared. The five dimensions
were defined along the following axes: work environment,
family relations, health, personal economy and leisure time
activity. There were no significant differences between ICD-9
diagnostic groups between teachers and non- teachers.
Indefinite diagnostic entities (fatigue, chronic myalgia,
fibromyalgia, etc.) were used in more than half of residents
in both groups. Definite musculo-skeletal disorders were the
second most prominent diagnosis. On the five-dimensional
functional diagnostic tool teachers scored significantly worse
than non-teachers on the family relations axis, and on a sum
score of all axes. The difference was mainly present in women.
The study suggests that work-related stress and signs of
burnout in teachers may be higher than in other employees, but
the factors contributing to this may be found outside the work
environment.




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