Mental Ill-Health Risk Factors in the Construction Industry: Systematic Review

Albert P.C. Chan, Janet M. Nwaogu, John A. Naslund

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Mental ill health is a significant cause of suicide and disability worldwide. It has particularly affected the construction industry. The construction labor sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom have suicide rates 2 and 3.7 times higher, respectively, than their overall national averages, which has attracted the attention of researchers and the industry. However, few studies have examined the state of construction workers' mental health. This paper systematically reviews the existing body of knowledge on mental health in the construction industry. In total, 16 journal articles met inclusion criteria, and 32 risk factors (RFs) were deduced. The foremost RFs were related to job demand and job control. A conceptual framework and checklist to aid in better understanding these RFs were developed. In assessing mental health, the primary tool used was the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale. The findings of this study help to deepen the understanding of professional mental health assessment scales and relevant RFs and protective factors as used in the construction industry. The study concludes that stronger methodologies are needed for studies into RFs and protective factors in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04020004
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Construction workers
  • Mental ill health
  • Risk factor
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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