9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Gender and Gender Challanges in European Health Care Building I, 1E2

Gender and health of French workers: consequences for society and ways for a European policy to modernize the company

Does the exercise of managerial power in the company has an impact on the health of employees ? An initial research, carried on French general practitioners and occupational physicians, led to the conclusion that the management of human resources ( "authoritarian" versus "participatory") intervenes, indeed, on the health status of employees. The research was continued with the collaboration of the ?Caisse Régionale d'Assurance Maladie de Bretagne?1, which provided a database on a set of employees of selected companies from the previous survey.
From selected indicators, this database gives us the health consumption for 30 255 workers, observed over a period of two years. The data are the volume of six types of prescription drugs (anxiolytics, psychotropics, analgesics, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hypnotics and sleeping drugs), visits to doctors (general practitioners, rhumatologists, and kinesitherapy sessions), stoppage of work due to illness and those due to occupationnal accidents. Age and sex are also included.
Analysis of this database has highlighted a clear effect of gender on the consumption of drugs, on work stoppages and on consultations together.

A higher consumption of health for women
The gender distinction is significant for all types of drugs taken : women consume always more drugs than men except for psychotropics.
Women stop work for illness significantly more often than men. However, men are more concerned by work accidents.
Women consult significantly more than men, whatever the speciality observed.

Sensitivity to power more pronounced for men
The impact of the mode of power exercised in the firm is more evident and stronger among men than women. In some cases, the lowest sensibility of women to the effects of participative management reverse the effects. The explanations are certainly multiple.
Socio-economic impact of this over ? consumption
From the calculation of average expenditure for health, national extrapolations are made. The impact of management type and gender on the cost to society is estimated.
If consumption patterns in health are already well known as the type of people (employed / unemployed), or differences in life expectancy, however, few scientific studies that show the impact functions as a kind of management.