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Prediction of long-term absence due to sickness in employees
Development and validation of a multifactorial risk score in two cohort studies Objectives: This study aimed to develop and validate a risk prediction model for long-term sickness absence. Methods: Survey responses on work- and lifestyle-related questions from 65 775 public-sector employees were linked to sickness absence records to develop a prediction score for medically-certified sickness absence lasting >9 days and ≥90 days. The score was externally validated using data from an independent population-based cohort of 13 527 employees. For both sickness absence outcomes, a full model including...
Identifying return-to-work trajectories using sequence analysis in a cohort of workers with work-related musculoskeletal disorders
Objectives: This study aimed to identify return-to-work (RTW) trajectories among workers with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and examine the associations between different MSD and these RTW trajectories. Methods: We used administrative workers' compensation data to identify accepted MSD lost-time claims with an injury date between 2010–2012 in British Columbia, Canada. Cox regression analyses were used to investigate differences in time to RTW between MSD. Validated day-to-day calendar measures of four RTW states (sickness absence, modified RTW, RTW, and non-RTW) were grouped...
How do line managers experience and handle the return to work of employees on sick leave due to work-related stress?
A one-year follow-up study PURPOSE: To examine how line managers experience and manage the return to work process of employees on sick leave due to work-related stress and to identify supportive and inhibiting factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with 15 line managers who have had employees on sick leave due to work-related stress. The grounded theory approach was employed. RESULTS: Even though managers may accept the overall concept of work-related stress, they focus on personality and individual circumstances when an employee is sick-listed due to work-related stress...
Length of sickness absence and sustained return-to-work in mental disorders and musculoskeletal diseases
A cohort study of public sector employees This study adds to the scientific evidence on the length of sickness absence until sustained return to work (SRTW) in depression, anxiety disorders, intervertebral disc disorders, and back pain among Finnish public sector employees. Timescales are provided for returning to work in different occupational groups also taking into consideration the persistence of the health problem and comorbid conditions. Source: Kausto, J., Pentti, J., Oksanen, T., Virta, L. J., Virtanen, M., Kivimäki, M., & Vahtera, J. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment...
Work ability in rheumatoid arthritis patients
A register study on the prospective risk of exclusion and probability of returning to work Objectives: The aim was to study work ability in patients with RA compared with the general population by investigating the rates and risks of long-term sickness absence, unemployment and disability pension, and the chance of returning to work and the changes in these risks over time (1994-2011). Methods: This was a cohort study with up to 17 years of follow-up (mean 6.95 years/person) including 6677 RA patients of working age (identified in the nationwide DANBIO registry) and 56 955 matched controls from...
Return to work after vocational rehabilitation for sick-listed workers with long-term back, neck and shoulder problems
A follow-up study of factors involved BACKGROUND: Absence from work due to musculoskeletal disorders is a significant problem from a number of perspectives, and there is a great need to identify factors that facilitate return to work (RTW). OBJECTIVE: To identify factors related to RTW after vocational rehabilitation for sick-listed workers with long-term back, neck and/or shoulder problems, and to compare the results with those from a previous literature review based on studies from 1980 to 2000. METHODS: A literature review based on studies published 2001–2014 in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE...
Ill Health–Related Job Loss
A One-Year Follow-Up of 54 026 Employees Introduction: The diagnoses of workers being unfit to work may be a relevant health indicator. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the one-year incidence of an unfit to work diagnosis. Method: This one-year prospective study included all workers undergoing annual work medical examination from occupational health services in Troyes, France. Results: Twenty-one occupational physicians followed 54,026 employees. The all-cause incidence of being unfit to return to work was 0.772%. The two main causes of being unfit to work were musculoskeletal disorders...
Physical capacity and risk for long-term sickness absence
A prospective cohort study among 8664 female health care workers OBJECTIVE: To assess the prospective associations between self-reported physical capacity and risk of long-term sickness absence among female health care workers. METHODS: Female health care workers answered a questionnaire about physical capacity and were followed in a national register of sickness absence lasting for two or more consecutive weeks during 1-year follow-up. Using Cox regression hazard ratio analyses adjusted for age, smoking, body mass index, physical workload, job seniority, psychosocial work conditions, and previous...
Stability of return to work after a coordinated and tailored intervention for sickness absence compensation beneficiaries with mental health problems
Results of a two-year follow-up study Purpose: Mental health problems (MHPs) are increasingly common as reasons for long-term sickness absence. However, the knowledge of how to promote a stable return to work (RTW) after sickness absence due to MHPs is limited. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a multidisciplinary, coordinated and tailored RTW-intervention in terms of stability of RTW, cumulative sickness absence and labour market status after 2 years among sickness absence compensation beneficiaries with MHPs. Methods: In a quasi-randomised, controlled trial, we followed recipients...
Assessing work ability
A cross-sectional study of interrater agreement between disability claimants, treating physicians, and medical experts Objectives It is unclear to what extent assessments of work ability differ between disability claimants, their treating physicians, and multidisciplinary medical expert teams. Methods We compared assessments of work ability for consecutive disability claimants referred to a multidisciplinary assessment center in Switzerland over a 4-year period. Assessments were made for the last job (LJ) prior to claiming a disability benefit and an alternative job (AJ) thought to suit the claimant's...
Prognostic Factors for Return to Work, Sickness Benefits, and Transitions Between These States
A 4-year Follow-up After Work-Related Rehabilitation Purpose The aim of this study was to examine if age, gender, medical diagnosis, occupation, and previous sick leave predicted different probabilities for being at work and for registered sickness benefits, and differences in the transitions between any of these states, for individuals that had participated in an interdisciplinary work-related rehabilitation program. Methods 584 individuals on long-term sickness benefits (mean 9.3 months, SD = 3.4) were followed with official register data over a 4-year period after a rehabilitation program. 66...
Musculoskeletal Pain and Depressive Symptoms as Predictors of Trajectories in Work Ability Among Finnish Firefighters at 13-Year Follow-Up
Objective: To identify work ability trajectories among Finnish firefighters during a 13-year follow-up. We examined whether baseline musculoskeletal pain and depressive symptoms (DPS) predicted membership of the trajectories. Methods: We studied 411 male firefighters who responded to a questionnaire at both baseline and at least one of two follow-ups. The outcome variable was perceived work ability (0 to 10). The predictors were musculoskeletal and depressive symptoms. Covariates included age, diseases, lifestyle habits, and work-related factors. Results: One fourth of the firefighters belonged...
Work-related gender differences in physician-certified sick leave
A prospective study of the general working population in Norway Objectives: This study aimed to examine gender differences in physician-certified sick leave and the extent to which these differences can be explained by work-related psychosocial and mechanical risk factors. Methods: Randomly drawn from the general population in Norway, the cohort comprised working men and women aged 18–69 years (N=12 255, response rate at baseline = 60.9%). Eligible respondents were interviewed in 2009 and registered with an active employee relationship of ≥100 actual working days in 2009 and 2010 (N=3688...
Is temporary employment a risk factor for work disability due to depressive disorders and delayed return to work?
The Finnish Public Sector Study Objectives: Research on temporary employment as a risk factor for work disability due to depression is mixed, and few studies have measured work disability outcome in detail. We separately examined the associations of temporary employment with (i) the onset of work disability due to depression, (ii) the length of disability episodes, and (iii) the recurrence of work disability, taking into account the possible effect modification of sociodemographic factors. Methods: We linked the prospective cohort study data of 107 828 Finnish public sector employees to national...
Remain in Work—What Work-Related Factors Are Associated With Sustainable Work Attendance
A General Population-Based Study of Women and Men Objective: To analyze if organizational climate and work commitment, demand and control, job strain, social support, and physical demands at work are associated with remain in work (RIW), that is, work attendance without sick leave over 15 days per year. Methods: This Swedish cross-sectional study was based on 4013 workers (aged 19 to 64 years), randomly selected from a general population. Data were collected (2008) through postal questionnaire and registers. Results: Fair organizational climate, the combination of fair organizational climate and...
The return-to-work process of individuals sick-listed because of whiplash-associated disorder
A three-year follow-up study in a Danish cohort of long-term sickness absentees BACKGROUND: The chronic course of whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) has implications for both the individual and society. It has been shown that up to 50% of patients have not yet returned to work six months after a whiplash injury. We wanted to study the return-to-work (RTW) process in individuals sick-listed for more than eight weeks in six Danish municipalities. RTW in individuals sick-listed due to WAD was compared to that in those sick-listed for other musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). METHODS: Information about...
Heavy work and disability pension
A long term follow-up of Swedish construction workers Objectives : The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of disability pensions over time among workers with physically demanding jobs. Methods : The occurrence of disability pension was prospectively studied between 1980–2008 among 325 549 Swedish construction workers. The risks for disability pension and years lost of working life were compared among 22 occupational groups, adjusting for age, body mass index, height, and smoking habits. Results : The risk varied considerably among blue-collar workers. For example, rock...
Determinants of limitations in unpaid work after major trauma
A prospective cohort study with 15 months follow-up OBJECTIVE: To identify determinants of limitations in unpaid work (household work, shopping, caring for children and odd jobs around the house) in patients who had suffered major trauma (ISS≥16) and who were in full-time employment (≥80%) at the time of injury. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: University Medical Centre Utrecht, a level 1 trauma centre in the Netherlands. METHOD: All severely injured (ISS≥16) adult (age≥16) trauma survivors admitted from January 1999 to December 2000 who were full-time employed at time of...
The `Ability' Paradigm in Vocational Rehabilitation: Challenges in an Ontario Injured Worker Retraining Program
Introduction In recent years, a focus on workers' ability, rather than impairment, has guided disability management services. However, a challenge with the notion of `ability' is identification of the border between ability and inability. This article considers this gray zone of disability management in the case of a workers' compensation vocational retraining program for injured workers in Ontario. Methods In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of 71 participants who were directly involved with the vocational retraining process. Workers in the program...
Predicting Return to Work in Workers with All-Cause Sickness Absence Greater than 4 Weeks: A Prospective Cohort Study
Introduction Long-term sickness absence is a major public health and economic problem. Evidence is lacking for factors that are associated with return to work (RTW) in sick-listed workers. The aim of this study is to examine factors associated with the duration until full RTW in workers sick-listed due to any cause for at least 4 weeks. Methods In this cohort study, health-related, personal and job-related factors were measured at entry into the study. Workers were followed until 1 year after the start of sickness absence to determine the duration until full RTW. Cox proportional hazards regression...
Internal consistency and construct validity of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire adapted for work disability following a musculoskeletal disorder
To assess internal consistency and construct validity of the French version of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire adapted for Work Disability (IPQR-WD). Method: A cross sectional study was conducted in rehabilitation centers and private clinics in the Montreal region of Canada, involving 43 men and women, French speaking, absent from work between 3 months and a year due to musculoskeletal disorders. The 9 dimension IPQR-WD and the following eight-related instruments for construct validity were administered: Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Psychological...
Return to work after a serious hand injury
Objectives: This paper explores factors important for return to work (RTW) in people who have sustained a serious hand injury. Participants: Forty people aged 19-64, with a severe or major hand injury were recruited consecutively during 2005-2007. Methods: A self-administered and study specific questionnaire, including demographic data and standardised questionnaires for function, disability, daily occupations, health, quality of life, sense of coherence and several open questions was sent out by mail twelve months after injury. Open questions regarding RTW were also included. Results: The results...
Making a successful return to work
The UK burden of injury multicentre longitudinal study BACKGROUND: Injuries are common and make a significant contribution to sickness absence, but little is known about problems experienced by injured people on return to work (RTW). AIM: To quantify work problems on RTW and explore predictors of such problems. Design & setting: Multicentre longitudinal study in four UK hospitals. METHOD: Prospective study of injured participants aged 16-65 years who were employed or self-employed prior to the injury and had RTW at 1 or 4 months post injury. RESULTS: At 1 month, most (59%) had only made a partial...
Association of Returning to Work With Better Health in Working-Aged Adults
A Systematic Review Objectives. We systematically reviewed the literature on the impact of returning to work on health among working-aged adults. Methods. We searched 6 electronic databases in 2005. We selected longitudinal studies that documented a transition from unemployment to employment and included a comparison group. Two reviewers independently appraised the retrieved literature for potential relevance and methodological quality. Results. Eighteen studies met our inclusion criteria, including 1 randomized controlled trial. Fifteen studies revealed a beneficial effect of returning to work...
The joint association of sleep duration and insomnia symptoms with disability retirement
A longitudinal, register-linked study Objective : The aim of this study was to examine the joint association of sleep duration and insomnia symptoms with subsequent disability retirement. Methods : Baseline survey data were collected in 2000–2002 from 40–60-year-old employees of the City of Helsinki, all working at baseline. Baseline data were linked with disability retirement data until the end of 2010, obtained from the Finnish Centre for Pensions registers (N=6042). Sleep duration and self-reported insomnia symptoms (difficulties in initiating and maintaining sleep and non-restorative...
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