Emotional Labor Factors Affecting Depressive Mood in Occupational Therapists

작업치료사의 우울감에 영향을 미치는 감정노동 요인

  • Oh, Seo-Yeon (Dept. of Occupational therapy, Gwanak-Gu Disabled Welfare Center, Occupational Therapist) ;
  • Koo, Jung-Wan (Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea)
  • 오서연 (관악구장애인종합복지관 작업치료실) ;
  • 구정완 (가톨릭대학교 서울성모병원 직업환경의학과)
  • Received : 2018.01.29
  • Accepted : 2018.11.27
  • Published : 2018.12.30


Objective : This study was conducted to determine the emotional labor of occupational therapists and the level of their feelings of depression and to examine the impact of their emotional labor on their depressive mood. Methods : Subjects of this study were clinical occupational therapists working at hospitals and clinics in Seoul and Gyeonggi regions. The factors of emotional labor were set as independent variables, the general characteristic variable and job characteristic variable which showed significant results in the chi-square test was set as the adjusted variable and whether the depression happens or not was set as the dependent variable, after which a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted. Results : Components of emotional labor, including frequency of emotional display(OR 1.699, 95% CI 1.202-2.401), attentiveness to required display rules(OR 1.436, 95% CI 1.070-1.982), and emotional dissonance(OR 1.866, 95% CI 1.336-2.607) all had a significant effect on depression. The possibility of depression was significantly higher in women than men(OR 5.736, 95% CI 1.746-18.846), those working for more than 8 hours per day than less than 8 hours per day(OR 8.609, 95% CI 2.306-32.137), and those working with children than those working with adults(OR 4.249, 95% CI 1.668-10.824). Conclusion : This study revealed that the emotional labor that occupational therapists are exposed to while interacting with patients and their caregivers exerts an influence on their feelings of depression. This suggests the need for developing various preventive intervention programs designed to alleviate the depressive symptoms of occupational therapists and formulating appropriate policies.


  1. 김종진, 송민지. (2014). 한국 사회 감정노동 실태와 개선방향 연구. 서울, 한국: 한국노동사회연구소.
  2. 정혜자. (2015). 금융정책연구: 금융부문 감정노동과 블랙컨슈머 실태조사 및 개선방안. 서울, 한국: 금융경제연구소.
  3. 한국고용정보원. (2015). 고용동향브리프. Retrieved from
  4. Aalbers, S., Fusar, P. L., Freeman, R. E., Spreen, M., Ket, J. C., Vink, A. C., ... Gold, C. (2017). Music therapy for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2017(11), CD004517. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004517.pub3
  5. Ashforth, B. E., & Humphrey, R. H. (1993). Emotional labor in service roles: The influence of identity. Academy of Management Review, 18(1), 88-115. doi:10.5465/amr.1993.3997508
  6. Brotheridge, C. M., & Grandey, A. A. (2002). Emotional labor and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of "people work". Journal of Vocational Behavior, 60(1), 17-39. doi:10.1006/jvbe.2001.1815
  7. Chu, S., Ryou, H., Bae, K., Song, J., Lee, S., & Kim, I. (2010). Association between emotional labor and symptoms of depression among bankers. Korean Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 22, 316-323.
  8. Frasure-Smith, N., Lesperance, F., & Talajic, M. (1993). Depression following myocardial infarction: Impact on 6-month survival. JAMA, 1819-1825. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510150053029
  9. Grandey, A. A. (2003). When "the show must go on": Surface acting and deep acting as determinants of emotional exhaustion and peer-rated service delivery. Academy of Management Journal, 46(1), 86-96. doi:10.5465/30040678
  10. Han, C. S., Jo, S. A., Kwak, J. H., Pae, C. U., Steffens, D., Jo, I., & Park, M. H. (2008). Validation of the patient health questionnaire-9 Korean version in the elderly population: The Ansan geriatric study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 49, 218-223. doi:10.10 16/j.comppsych.2007.08.006
  11. Han, D. S. (2006). Job stress related factors of occupational therapists in Korea (Master's thesis). Yonsei University, Gangwon.
  12. Heo, S. Y. (2015). Analysis on the therapy experience of pediatric physical therapists for children with disabilities (Master's thesis). Changwon University, Gyeongnam.
  13. Heo, Y. J. (2016). Effects of emotional labor on depressive symptom in physical and occupational therapists (Master's thesis). Yonsei University, Seoul.
  14. Hwan, J. H. (2015). Nurses' working career, level of emotional labor, and job satisfaction (Master's thesis). Sungshin Women's University, Seoul.
  15. Jeon, S. Y. (2015). Risk factors related to musculoskeletal disorders to occupational therapists: A comparison between pediatric and adult occupational therapists (Master's thesis). Korea University, Seoul.
  16. Jeong, M. A. (2014). Relationship of emotional labor with the level of depression in women workers of plastic surgeries (Master's thesis). Chung-ang University, Seoul.
  17. Jeong, S. J. (2014). Relationship among the emotional labor, burnout, turnover and depression of ward nurses (Master's thesis). Hanyang University, Seoul.
  18. Jeong, U. S. (2008). A comparative study on job stress and depression of social workers and public health workers (Master's thesis). Wonkwang University, Jeonbuk.
  19. Kim, E. K. (2016). The relationship between emotional labor and depression in hospital nurses (Master's thesis). Catholic University, Seoul.
  20. Kim, H. J. (2011). Nutritional risk, physical activity, depression and quality of life among patients with colorectal cancer (Master's thesis). Yonsei University, Seoul.
  21. Kim, H. J., Lee, B. W., Hwang, J. H., Lee, M. S., Na, B. J., & Lee, J. Y. (2012). The level of emotional labor among workers in one university hospital. Health Policy and Management, 22(1), 129-144. doi:10.4332/KJHPA.2012.22.1.129
  22. Kim, H. R. (2012). Prevalence and risk factors of depression by gender in low income elders in urban community. Korean Gerontological Nursing Society, 14, 162-172.
  23. Kim, M. J. (1998). Effects of the hotel employee's emotional labor upon the job-related attitudes. Journal of Tourism Sciences, 21(2), 129-141.
  24. Kim, S. G. (2009). An exploratory study on the emotional labor in pubic sector: Focused on street-level bureaucrats in the civil service system. Korean Association for Local Government Studies, 13(1), 51-71.
  25. Kim, S. Y. (2001). A study on the relationship between emotional labor and depressive symptom among the service industrial employees (Master's thesis). Yonsei University, Seoul.
  26. Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. (2001). The PHQ‐9: Validity of a brief depression severity measure. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16, 606-613. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016009606.x
  27. Lee, J. Y. (2017). A qualitative case study on rehabilitation experience of rehabilitation therapists (Master's thesis). Dongguk University, Seoul.
  28. Lee, S. H., & Bang, Y. S. (2015). The effect of emotional lobor and bernout on the job attitude of occupational therapist. Journal of Korean Society of Occupational Therapy, 23(1), 95-108. doi:10.14519/jksot.2015.23.1.08
  29. Lee, S. Y., & Suh, S. R. (2016). Coverage rate and factors associated with vaccination in adult recommended pneumococcal vaccine. Journal of Health Informatics and Statistics, 41, 231-238. doi:10.21032/jhis.2016.41.2.231
  30. Morris, J. A., & Feldman, D. C. (1996). The dimensions, antecedents, and consequences of emotional labor. Academy of Management Review, 21, 986-1010. doi:10.5465/amr.1996.9704071861
  31. Park, E. J. (2016). Emotional labor, depressive symptom and quality of sleep among dental hygienists (Master's thesis). Hanyang University, Seoul.
  32. Park, H. K. (2006). Effects of hospital competition on the average length of stay and cost per inpatient day (Doctoral dissertation). Seoul National University, Seoul.
  33. Rathore, J. S., Jehi, L. E., Fan, Y., Patel, S. I., Foldvary-Schaefer, N., Ramirez, M. J., ... Tesar, G. E. (2014). Validation of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression screening in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 37, 215-220. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.06.030
  34. Sin, M. K., & Kang, H. L. (2011). Effects of emotional labor and occupational stress on somatization in nurses. Journal of Korean Nursing Administration Academic Society, 17, 158-167.
  35. Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B., & Patient Health Questionnaire Primary Care Study Group. (1999). Validation and utility of a self-report version of PRIME-MD: The PHQ primary care study. JAMA, 282, 1737-1744. doi:10.1001/jama.282.18.1737
  36. Yoo, Y. R., & Ann, C., S. (2009). A study of the relationships between perceived rehabilitation - motivation and quality of life in patients after a cerebrovascular accident. Journal of Korean Society of Occupational Therapy, 17(2), 1-16.