The association between concealing emotions at work and medical utilization in Korea

Hongdeok Seok, Jin Ha Yoon, Wanhyung Lee, June Hee Lee, Pil K. Jung, Inah Kim, Jong Uk Won, Jaehoon Roh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We aimed to investigate the association between concealing emotions at work and medical utilization.Methods: Data from the 2007-2009 4th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV) was used, 7,094 participants (3,837 males, 3,257 females) aged between 20 and 54 who were economically active and completed all necessary questionnaire items were included. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for differences in hospitalization, outpatient visits, and pharmaceutical drug use between those who concealed their emotions and those who did not were investigated using logistic regression models with and without gender stratification.Results: Among those who concealed their emotions (n = 2,763), 47.4% were females, and 50.1% had chronic disease. In addition, 9.7% of the concealing emotions group had been hospitalized within the last year, 24.8% had been outpatients in the last two weeks, and 28.3% had used pharmaceutical drugs in the last two weeks.All ORs represent the odds of belonging to the concealing emotions group over the non-concealing emotions group. After adjustment for individual, occupational, socioeconomic and disease factors, the adjusted ORs (95% CI) in hospitalization are 1.29 (1.08 ~ 1.53) in the total population, 1.25 (0.98 ~ 1.60) in males and 1.30 (1.02 ~ 1.66) in females, in outpatient visits are 1.15 (1.02 ~ 1.29) in the total population, 1.05 (0.88 ~ 1.24) in males and 1.25 (1.06 ~ 1.47) in females and in pharmaceutical drug use are 1.12 (1.01 ~ 1.25) in the total population, 1.08 (0.92 ~ 1.27) in males and 1.14 (0.98 ~ 1.33) in females.Conclusions: Those who concealed their emotions at work were more likely to use medical services. Moreover, the health effects of concealing emotions at work might be more detrimental in women than in men.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalAnnals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Seok et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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