The moderating role of job resources in the relationship between job demands and interleukin-6 in an Italian healthcare organization

Alessandra Falco, Laura Dal Corso, Damiano Girardi, Alessandro De Carlo, Manola Comar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study we examined the association between job demands (JD), job resources (JR), and serum levels of a possible biomarker of stress, the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). According to the buffer hypothesis of the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model, we expected that job resources—defined as job autonomy and social support from supervisor—might buffer the relationship between job demands, defined as emotional demands and interpersonal conflict with colleagues, and IL-6. Data from 119 employees in an Italian public healthcare organization (acute care hospital) were analyzed using multiple regression. In predicting IL-6, the interactions between emotional demands and JR and between interpersonal conflict with colleagues and job autonomy (but not social support) were significant, after controlling for the effect of age and gender. The association between JD and IL-6 was stronger for individuals with low levels of JR, so that levels of IL-6 were highest when JD were high and JR were low. Overall, these results are consistent with the buffer hypothesis of the JD-R model and also extend previous research, showing that the exposure to stressful situations at work, measured as high JD and low JR, is associated with higher levels of IL-6 in hospital employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018



  • autonomy
  • interleukin-6
  • job demands
  • job resources
  • social support
  • work-related stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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