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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 8, 537 - 545

Review article

Aetiology of prolonged fatigue among workers. An overview of findings from the Maastricht Cohort Study

N.W.H. Jansen, M.J.H. Huibers, L.G.P.M. van Amelsvoort, IJ. Kant

background Considerable attention is being given to prolonged fatigue among workers because it occurs so frequently and is alleged to have serious consequences.
aim To present an overview of the magnitude, causes and consequences of prolonged fatigue in the workplace with a view to preventing its occurrence.
method On the basis of of the articles written as part of the Maastricht Cohort Study we present an overview of this study, a prospective cohort study (n=12,140) that covered a period of 4 years. results Prolonged fatigue seems to occur frequently among workers. Risk factors in the aetiology of prolonged fatigue were found in subjective and objective work-related factors, as well as in factors related to the health and private situation of the employee.
conclusion The assumed multifactorial aetiology of prolonged fatigue was confirmed by means of prospective analyses in the Maastricht Cohort Study. The observed risk factors can be applied as tools for the development of effective preventive measures against prolonged fatigue.

keywords epidemiology, fatigue, prospective studies, risk factors, work