Publications -- M. Harvey Brenner

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Acceleration of Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide: Secondary Effects of Economic Disruption Related to COVID-19
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020-12-15) Brenner, M. Harvey; Bhugra, Dinesh
    The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has contributed to increasing levels of anxiety, depression and other symptoms of stress around the globe. Reasons for this increase are understandable in the context of individual level factors such as self-isolation, lockdown, grief, survivor guilt, and other factors but also broader social and economic factors such as unemployment, insecure employment and resulting poverty, especially as the impacts of 2008 recession are still being felt in many countries further accompanied by social isolation. For those who are actively employed a fear of job and income loss and those who have actually become ill and recovered or those who have lost family and friends to illness, it is not surprising that they are stressed and feeling the psychological impact. Furthermore, multiple uncertainties contribute to this sense of anxiety. These fears and losses are major immediate stresses and undoubtedly can have long-term implications on mental health. Economic uncertainty combined with a sense of feeling trapped and resulting lack of control can contribute to helplessness and hopelessness where people may see suicide as a way out. Taking a macro view, we present a statistical model of the impact of unemployment, and national income declines, on suicide, separately for males and females over the life cycle in developed countries. This impact may reflect a potent combination of social changes and economic factors resulting in anomie. The governments and policymakers have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure the physical health and well-being of their populations. While setting in place preventive measures to avoid infections and then subsequent mortality, the focus on economic and social recovery is crucial. A global pandemic requires a global response with a clear inter-linked strategy for health as well as economic solutions. The models we have constructed represent predictions of suicide rates among the 38 highly industrialized OECD countries over a period of 18 years (2000-2017). Unemployment has a major effect on increasing suicide, especially in middle-aged groups. However, the impact of economic decline through losses of national income (GDP per capita) are substantially greater than those of unemployment and influence suicide throughout the life course, especially at the oldest ages.
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    Risk of psychological ill health and methods of organisational downsizing: a cross-sectional survey in four European countries
    (BioMed Central Ltd., 2017-09-29) Andreeva, Elena; Brenner, M. Harvey; Theorell, Töres; Goldberg, Marcel
    The manner in which organizational downsizing is implemented can make a substantial difference as to whether the exposed workers will suffer from psychological ill health. Surprisingly, little research has directly investigated this issue. We examined the likelihood of psychological ill health associated with strategic and reactive downsizing.|A cross-sectional survey included 1456 respondents from France, Sweden, Hungary and the United Kingdom: 681 employees in stable workplaces (reference group) and 775 workers from downsized companies. Reactive downsizing was exemplified by the exposures to compulsory redundancies of medium to large scale resulting in job loss or surviving a layoff while staying employed in downsized organizations. The workforce exposed to strategic downsizing was represented by surplus employees who were internally redeployed and supported through their career change process within a policy context of "no compulsory redundancy". Symptoms of anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion were assessed in telephone interviews with brief subscales from Hospital Anxiety Scale (HADS-A), Hopkins Symptom Checklist (SCL-CD|We observed no increased risk of psychological ill health in the case of strategic downsizing. The number of significant associations with psychological ill health was the largest for the large-scale reactive downsizing: surviving a layoff was consistently associated with all three outcome measures; returning to work after the job loss experience was related to anxiety and depression, while persons still unemployed at interview had elevated odds of anxiety. After reactive medium-scale downsizing, unemployment at interview was the only exposure associated with anxiety and depression.|The manner in which organizational downsizing is implemented can be important for the psychological wellbeing of workers. If downsizing is unavoidable, it should be achieved strategically. Greater attention is needed to employment and health policies supporting the workers after reactive downsizing.
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    Duration of unemployment and self-perceived health in Europe
    (2016-03-01) Brenner, M. Harvey
    This study investigates the potential impact of employment loss on self-perceived health according to the duration of national levels of unemployment in EU member states during 2004-2012. The principal findings were that the total unemployment rate, long-term unemployment (LTU) rate and very long-term unemployment (VLTU) rate were all strongly related to increased reports of bad and very bad self-perceived health. In fact, the impact of unemployment (i.e., effects based on the coefficients) increased in a ‘dose-response’ manner with the total unemployment rate showing the smallest coefficient, the LTU rate showing a greater coefficient, and the VLTU rate showing the strongest impact in terms of increasingly bad and very bad self-reported health. The findings complement existing evidence that identified unemployment as an important risk factor for heart disease mortality at the start of the 2008/2009 recession.
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    The impact of unemployment on heart disease and stroke mortality in European Union Countries
    (2016-05-01) Brenner, M. Harvey
    This paper examines the relation between unemployment and CVD mortality in European Union countries during the first decade of the 21st century. Two separate studies are summarized, focusing on increased heart disease and stroke mortality rates as potential outcomes of the greatly extended unemployment rate during 2000 – 2010 and especially the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009. Unemployment rates and mortality from two cardiovascular illnesses are viewed in pooled cross-sectional analyses over the range of EU countries. In addition to the unemployment rate, other economic variables, expressing the Recession, are studied in relation to cardiovascular mortality over multiple years in a pooled cross-sectional time-series analysis with random effects. The principal finding is that increases in the unemployment rate are related to increased heart disease and stroke mortality. Controlling for other labour market variables, such as labour force participation, as well as gross domestic product (GDP) per capita—the principal indicator of recession and economic growth.