About the study

SLOSH – A longitudinal Work environment Survey

 The Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) is a unique prospective study on work environment and health. It is expected to provide a basis for improvements of work environment and to contribute to a better understanding regarding work-related ill-health in Sweden and other countries.

SLOSH was initiated by the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University in 2006 and aims to study the complex relationships between work organization, work environment, labour market participation and health. SLOSH is based on the Swedish Work Environment Surveys of 2003 and 2005 (SWES). The first follow-up was conducted in March 2006, when all the 9,154 participants of the SWES 2003 were mailed self-completion questionnaires. In 2008, the second follow-up was realized, where also participants of the 2005 SWES were invited to participate. The core of the SLOSH therefore consists of a total of 18,915 persons. In 2010, we conducted the third follow-up which additionally included 2,553 participants from Stockholm and Västra Götaland who had responded to SWES 2007. During spring 2012, we performed a fourth follow-up of those who participated in the Swedish Work Environment Surveys of 2003 and 2005 (SWES), followed by the fifth follow-up during 2014, the sixth in 2016 and the seventh during spring 2018. Continued follow-ups are planned for every other year for many years to come.

 

The survey

The survey is available in two versions, one for participants in gainful employment and one for those who are not gainfully employed or work less than 30 percent. The survey for those in gainful employment is divided into three parts with the first part containing questions from SWES, but also new questions about changes in employment, demand and control at work, effort and reward, organizational justice, leadership etc. The second part is about health and wellbeing and the third section highlights the general life situation. Also the survey for those who have temporarily or permanently left the labour market is divided into three parts, where the second and third part is almost identical to the survey for workers. The first part deals with questions about current supply, reasons for not working and the positive and negative aspects of not being gainfully employed. In order not to burden the participants with too many questions, questionnaire data is linked to register data on employment, sick leave, hospitalisation etc. both prospectively and back in time. All data is delivered by Statistics Sweden in de-identified form.

In comparison with cross-sectional surveys SLOSH makes it possible to study how work affects health and well-being over time and vice versa. SLOSH is the basis for a number of other projects, including studies on the health impact of conflicts in the workplace, as well as of the relationship between work and depression, sickness presence, stress related hearing problems and work-family imbalance. A new project will investigate the health effects of retirement as well as determinants of work beyond 65. Another project will investigate how different open-plan office environments on health and productivity.