Work ability and work–family conflicts (total-WFCs) were associated with the risk of depression among the working population.
We recruited 3104 Egyptian civil workers between October 2019 and January 2020. The Work Ability Index (WAI), Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) and Midlife Development in the United States questionnaires were used to collect the data. Following Baron and Kenny criteria, the mediation effect of total-WFCs on the association between WAI and CES-D scores was tested by multivariable linear regression models.
Findings revealed a high prevalence of depressive symptoms (CES-D score ≥ 16) among Egyptian civil servants (43.4%). There were negative relationships between WAI score and both CES-D score (B = −0.70, P < 0.001) and total-WFCs score (B = −0.22, P < 0.001). Moreover, WAI score was still significantly associated with CES-D score after controlling for total-WFCs score (B = −0.40, P < 0.001) that suggests partial mediation. We estimated that ~44%, 38% and 20% of the total effect of work ability on the risk of depressive symptoms were mediated by total-WFCs, family-to-work conflict and work-to-family conflict, respectively.
Interventions aiming for mitigation total-WFCs can help improve employees’ mental health and reduce the risk of impaired work ability-related depression.