Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1681--1685

The relationship between job satisfaction and social support for employees with chronic fatigue

Mohammadreza Pirmoradi1, Naser Foroghinejad2, Fariba Asadi Bedmeshki3,  
1 Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Center of Excellence in Psychology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Tonekaboon, Iran
3 Department of Psychology of Sobhe Sadegh Center, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mohammadreza Pirmoradi
Department of Mental Health, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Center of Excellence in Psychiatry, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran


Objective: Chronic fatigue as a permanent and debilitating disorder causes weakness in personal, social, and professional life of a person.  Thus researchers pay the necessary attention to it, and hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and social support for employees of Ahvaz Water and Sewage with chronic fatigue. Methods: This research was descriptive of correlational type. The statistical society of this study consists of all staffs of Ahvaz Water and Sewage who were working in 2015. The statistical sample consisted of 190 employees who were selected randomly. To collect data, we used Ironson's job satisfaction scale, Chalder's fatigue scale, and Phillip's social support audit. The gained data were analyzed with the use of descriptive statistical method such as Pearson's correlation multivariate regression analysis and through software SPSS 20. Results: The results showed that there is a significant relationship between job satisfaction and social support for employees with chronic fatigue (P ≤ 0.001). Regression analysis showed that job satisfaction and social support can predict chronic fatigue significantly. Conclusion: The results showed that job satisfaction and social support reduce chronic fatigue in employees of Ahvaz Water and Sewage.

How to cite this article:
Pirmoradi M, Foroghinejad N, Bedmeshki FA. The relationship between job satisfaction and social support for employees with chronic fatigue.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1681-1685

How to cite this URL:
Pirmoradi M, Foroghinejad N, Bedmeshki FA. The relationship between job satisfaction and social support for employees with chronic fatigue. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jan 21 ];10:1681-1685
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Social support means having a sense of belonging, acceptance, interest, love, and be loved. It may create a peaceful connection in which a sense of security, intimacy, and nearness are fundamental characteristics.[1] Furthermore, social support is a part of social exchanges factor.[2] In patients who had more social support, the feelings of uncertainty are less.[3] Social support protects persons against stresses caused by the disease and increases their social psychological adjustment.[4]

High levels of social support cause a person to experience a sense of gratitude.[5] Studies have shown that persons with high social support and low interpersonal conflicts have persisted more in the face of life pressures.[6] Furthermore, studies have shown that the reduction in the social support level is associated with the increase of frequency of hospitalization in chronic diseases.[7],[8] Job satisfaction includes satisfaction of external factors such as environment, working conditions, and job characteristics and also internal factors such as employee's need, motivations, and personality.[9] In fact, job satisfaction is employee's job expectations which are met.[10] Parker [11] was more specific by stating that situation, individual, and interaction between situation and individual are three factors of job satisfaction.

Fatigue is a disorder which is defined as a feeling of weakness and exhaustion, loss of physical strength, frailty and faintness, lack of energy, disability, inability to maintain activity, causing drowsiness, blurred consciousness, poor concentration, inadequacy, and loss of motivation.[12] Fatigue syndrome has a prevalence rate of 15% in a clinical population that reduced the quality of life in addition to psychological and physical disturbances.[13]

Prevalence of this syndrome is more in women, the elderly, and people in low socioeconomic situation. The long-term health problems, higher scores on the hospital Anxiety Scale, and poor quality of life are associated with increasing risk of chronic fatigue and negative consequences significantly.[14] Feeling of fatigue and intolerance of daily activities reduces individual's physical function.[15] Ameringer et al.[16] and Dampier et al.[17] showed that fatigue is a predictor pain factor in some patients and can lead to decrease their life quality level.

Due to the chronic fatigue effect on the personal, social, and professional function of a person, the aim of this research was to investigate the relationship between social support and job satisfaction for employees of Ahvaz Water and Sewage with chronic fatigue.


This is a descriptive study of correlation type. The statistical sample included all employees of Ahvaz city's Water and Sewage Company who were working in 2015. The sample consisted of 190 employees who were selected randomly. To collect data, we used Chalder's fatigue scale, Ironson's job satisfaction scale, and Phillip's social support adult. The gained data were analyzed with using descriptive statistics method such as Pearson correlation and multivariate regression analysis through SPSS 20 software (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.).

Research tools

Chalder's fatigue scale

Chalder et al.[18] devised a short tool with 14 points of physical and mental of fatigue symptoms that are thought to mark the index of chronic fatigue syndrome and evaluated it. For the first time, it was translated, and its reliability and validity was evaluated by Nasri.[19] This questionnaire is a self-evaluation tool and a person was evaluated for physical fatigue with eight items based on a 4-point scale from no (zero) to high [3] and for mental fatigue with six questions. Furthermore, four structures have been identified using this scale: (1) cognitive problems, (2) drowsiness, (3) endurance and strength, and (4) lack of motivation and interest. Chalder et al. have investigated the validity and reliability of this scale in the medical care sector.

According to Chalder et al.,[18] internal consistency coefficient for the whole scale, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue was reported to be 0.89, 0.84, and 0.82, respectively. Nasri [19] in his study reported the reliability of this scale using Cronbach's alpha method in a sample of students (60 subjects) and nurses (34 subjects) to be 0.88 and 0.91, respectively. Furthermore, split-half reliability coefficient in the students' group was 0.83. This coefficient showed the high reliability of the scale. He also achieved retest reliability coefficient on a sample of 50 students after 3 weeks they were retested. Coefficients for total Chalder's fatigue scale, physical fatigue subscales, and mental fatigue subscale are reported to be 0.85, 0.81, and 0.74, respectively, which were satisfactory. Furthermore, Chalder et al.[18] reported that the validity factor for this scale using a cutoff point of score 22 and using the clinical interview in medical care was 5/75% (sensitivity) and 5.74% (specificity).

Job satisfaction scale

This scale was developed by Ironson et al.[20] This scale has 18 items which were translated for the first time by Nasrin [21] and its reliability and validity have been identified. In this questionnaire, the subject should read any item which is pleasant or unpleasant due to his/her job and identify the answer in the form of three options yes, no, and do not know. Items do not refer to funds or fields of work in overall job satisfaction scale. Ironson et al.[20] reported a Cronbach's alpha consistency of 0.91 on a sample (n = 1149) and between 0.91 and 0.95 in the other sample (n = 3569). Nasrin [21] reported the reliability of this scale using Cronbach's alpha and split-half to be 0.91 and 0.87, respectively. Ironson et al.[20],[21] reported that the correlation between this scale and job satisfaction based on Brayfield Rothe's five item was 0.80. Nasrin [21] used a single-item version in his study for determining the validity of the scale. A 7-item scale from 1 (low) to 7 (very high) was used for answering the questions and the obtained correlation coefficient is 0.69. Furthermore, he reported that the validity of the scale through the correlation between this scale and job satisfaction with a Brayfield Rothe's 5-item scale was 0.70.

Phillip's social support questionnaire

Social support questionnaire is provided by Vaux et al.[22] This scale has 23 items, with 4 grading as very positive, positive, negative, or very negative.[23] In the Soghra study [24] which was conducted on 100 university students and 200 students. The test reliability of university students' sample in the whole scale was 90% in the student sample was 70%, and in the test, retest of students after 6 weeks was 81%. The coefficient of an internal reliability test in a group of 300 students of Allameh Tabatabai University was calculated as 66% by Bakhsh.[25]


The subjects consisted of 190 staff of Ahwaz Water and Sewage aged 25–60, with most of the data relating to people aged 31–37 (n = 72). In regard to gender, 78% were male and 22% were female. Nearly 82% of subjects were married, and 18% were single, and in terms of education, most of them were master (50%), 57% of them were employed, and 27% of them had 21–30 years' work experience.

[Table 1] presents the results of descriptive variables:{Table 1}

Due to one of the assumptions of Kolmogorov–Smirnov test which is normality, all of the obtained significant levels were >0.05 [Table 2], and this indicates that normal distribution assumption is not rejected. Parametric tests are used for evaluating these data.{Table 2}

These statistical findings show that the mean social and standard deviation of social support, job satisfaction, and chronic fatigue are ([16.25] [3.5]), ([23.8] [9.16]), and ([11.9] [7.65]), respectively.

To evaluate the negative and contrasting relationship between staff satisfaction and chronic fatigue, Pearson correlation coefficient was used. The results are summarized in [Table 3].{Table 3}

Statistical results given in [Table 3] show that observed Pearson (r = 0.441) with (P = 0.002 ≤ 0.01) is statistically significant. Due to the negative correlation coefficient, it can be said that there is a negative and reverse relationship with staff, job satisfaction, and chronic fatigue. To evaluate negative and reverse relationship between social support and chronic fatigue, Pearson's correlation coefficient was used, and the results are summarized in [Table 4].{Table 4}

Statistical results of [Table 4] show that observed Pearson (r = 0.225) with (P = 0.001 ≤0.01) is significant. Due to the negative correlation coefficient, it can be said there is a negative and reverse relationship between staff social support and chronic fatigue.

To evaluate the relationship between life chronic fatigue and the simultaneous effect of staff job satisfaction and social support variables, multiple regression test was used. The results of this evaluation are in [Table 5].{Table 5}

These statistical findings show that multiple correlation coefficients for the combinations of job satisfaction and social support variables are equal to MR = 0.538 and RS = 0.289, respectively, and F regression equation (25.258) with P = 0.001 ≤001 is significant.  Due to the ß-coefficient results of [Table 5] and significant level, all of the variables affect chronic fatigue variable as predict variable which in order of importance from highest to lowest impact include:

Job satisfaction (ß = −0.405), social support (ß = −0.237), thus Hypothesis 3 is approved.


According to the study findings, it can be said there is a significant relationship between social support and job satisfaction for employees with chronic fatigue. These results were confirmed by the findings of Jansen et al.[26] about the effects of occupational noise on employees fatigue during work and also by the findings of of Van Hook[27] which examines the quality of life, chronic fatigue, life satisfaction and burnout in staff of child support agency. The results determined that women with chronic fatigue showed lower quality of life and lower life satisfaction than men and also quality of life and life satisfaction showed negative significant correlation with chronic fatigue and exhaustion and is consistent with the findings of Fazel Asgarpoor et al.[28] who showed that fatigue leads to decrease activities and reduces the role of the individual's ability to perform daily living activities.

Furthermore, our results are consistent with the findings of Chi Ti and Ue Lin [29] in a study among nurses which showed a significant relationship between family functioning and chronic fatigue with quality of life; the findings of Barrett-Lee et al.[30] who showed in patients with cancer the fatigue-related anemia effect on social interactions and interpersonal relationships, leading to social isolation; the finding of Corwin and Arbour [31] about the effect of fatigue on physical and mental health, daily activities, motivation, and social interaction in mothers; and the research of Neda et al.[32] about the factors intervened with fatigue in theory of unpleasant symptoms in patients treated with hemodialysis in dialysis centers in Kerman, which showed that the results showed that there is a significant relationship between fatigue and social support; and finally the studies of Ameringer et al.[16] and Dampier et al.[17] who showed the fatigue was a predictor of pain in some patients and may lead to lower quality of life in them.

In explaining the results, we can say that the structure of fatigue has multidimensional causes and consists of constant subjective feelings of fatigue, weakness, and lack of energy that lead to reducing the performance capacity.[33] Due to fatigue feeling, a person without previous energy and low activity requires more effort to minimize daily activities.[34]


To discriminate the mentioned results, we conclude that job satisfaction and social support reduce chronic fatigue in employees.

Limitations and recommendations

The study sample is mixed and it ignores gender role so we recommend that for future research, study sample should be based on sex. This study was limited to a specific city and it is not possible to extend the results to other cities; for this reason it is recommended that additional studies be done in other cities.


Hereby, the authors express gratitude to all of Ahvaz Water and Sewage staffs, especially the participants who took part in this study.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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