Olivera Batic-Mujanovic, Samir Poric, Nurka Pranjic, Enisa Ramic, Esad Alibasic, Enisa Karic
Introduction: Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Balkan region (43.2%), so unemployment is one of the most serious public concerns in our country. Aim: To analyze the influence of unemployment on mental health of the working age population who attend primary care center. Material and Methods: The study was carried out in the municipality of Bosanska Krupa, which has the highest unemployment rate in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (56%), and included 510 randomly selected working age patients (aged 23-65 years). We used the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) to evaluate mental health of the working age population. Results: There were significantly more women than men (53.5% vs. 46.5%; p=0.02). The mean age of participants was 51.04±12.84 years. The experimental group included 318 (62.35%) unemployed working age participants: 160 (50.3%) had been unemployed for more than 5 years and had had no work experience, while 158 (49.7%) unemployed participants had had a previous work experience of more than five years. The control group included 192 (37.65%) employed working age participants. Unemployment had a significant influence on mental health of the working age population. The unemployed participants had a significantly poorer mental health compared to the employed (p=0.0003). A predictor of impaired mental health was a job loss. A significantly greater mental health impairment occured in the group of unemployed participants with previous work experience of more than five years compared to the unemployed participants who had had no work experience (p=0.001) and employed (p=0.000). Conclusion: Unemployment has a negative impact and leads to impaired mental health of the working age population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A job loss has a predictive role. It indicates that social and health policies must be developed in order to improve well-being of the working age population.
[Mater Sociomed 2017; 29(2.000): 92-96]
Keywords: unemployment, mental health, working age population