Author(s): N Tlotleng, K Wilson, T Kootbodien, F Made, V Ntlebi, N Naicker

Source: Occupational Health Southern Africa; Vol 27 No 1, January/February 2021


Background: Poor work environments can lead to poor mental health in workers. Golf course workers are prone to poor health outcomes, including common mental disorders (CMDs) due to work-related stress, poor working conditions, and low socio-economic status.

Objective: To assess the prevalence and factors associated with CMDs among golf course workers in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, convenience sampling was used to select 375 participants (300 golf caddies and 75 non-caddies) from six golf courses in Johannesburg, South Africa. A sociodemographic questionnaire and the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) to assess self-reported CMDs were administered by trained field workers. Logistic regression was used to investigate the association of sociodemographic factors, comorbidities, substance use and work stress-related factors with CMDs.

Results: The prevalence of CMDs was 35.3% in golf caddies and 24.3% in non-caddies. The adjusted odds (aORs) for CMDs among caddies was twice that of non-caddies but the difference was not significant (aOR 2.14, 95% CI 0.89–5.27). The aORs for alcohol use (aOR 3.86; 95% CI: 2.19–6.81), intimidation at work (aOR 3.59; 95% CI 2.01–6.43) and existing comorbidities (aOR 2.06; 95% CI; 1.05–4.03) were higher in those with CMDs.

Conclusion: A high proportion of golf course workers had self-reported CMDs. This preliminary study suggests that lifestyle factors such as alcohol use, and health- and work-related factors, are associated with CMDs. Further studies are needed to support these findings and provide information to develop intervention strategies, if needed.

Keywords: golf courses, caddies, SQR-20, work-related stress, mental wellness