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Job strain and psychologic distress influence on sickness absence among Finnish employees.
Am J Prev Med. 2007 Sep; 33(3):182-7.AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Work stress is a recognized risk factor for mental health disorders, but it is not known whether work stress is associated with the morbidity among individuals with psychologic distress. Another shortcoming in earlier research is related to common method bias-the use of individual perceptions of both work stress and psychologic distress. This prospective study was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), which identified psychologic distress as a predictor of sickness absence and the effect of work-unit measures of job strain on sickness absence among cases.

METHODS

Survey data were collected on work stress, indicated by high job strain, for a cohort of public sector employees (6,663 women, 1,323 men), aged 18 to 62 at baseline in 2000-2002, identified as GHQ-12 cases. Coworker assessments of job strain were used to control for bias due to response style. A 2-year follow-up included recorded long-term (>7 days) medically certified sickness absence. Adjustments were made for age, socioeconomic position, baseline chronic physical disease, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption.

RESULTS

Cases with psychologic distress had 1.3 to 1.4 times higher incidence of long-term sickness absence than non cases. Among cases, high job strain predicted sickness absence (hazard ratio 1.17 in women, 1.41 in men). The significant effect of job strain on sickness absence was found among workers in high socioeconomic positions (hazard ratio 1.54 for women, 1.58 for men) but not among employees in low socioeconomic positions (hazard ratio 1.06 for women, 1.31 for men).

CONCLUSIONS

Psychologic distress has an independent effect on medically certified sickness absence. The identification of employees with high job strain and the improvement of their working conditions should be considered as an important target in the prevention of adverse consequences of psychologic distress.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu, Helsinki, Finland. marianna.virtanen@ttl.fiNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17826576

Citation

Virtanen, Marianna, et al. "Job Strain and Psychologic Distress Influence On Sickness Absence Among Finnish Employees." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 33, no. 3, 2007, pp. 182-7.
Virtanen M, Vahtera J, Pentti J, et al. Job strain and psychologic distress influence on sickness absence among Finnish employees. Am J Prev Med. 2007;33(3):182-7.
Virtanen, M., Vahtera, J., Pentti, J., Honkonen, T., Elovainio, M., & Kivimäki, M. (2007). Job strain and psychologic distress influence on sickness absence among Finnish employees. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(3), 182-7.
Virtanen M, et al. Job Strain and Psychologic Distress Influence On Sickness Absence Among Finnish Employees. Am J Prev Med. 2007;33(3):182-7. PubMed PMID: 17826576.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Job strain and psychologic distress influence on sickness absence among Finnish employees. AU - Virtanen,Marianna, AU - Vahtera,Jussi, AU - Pentti,Jaana, AU - Honkonen,Teija, AU - Elovainio,Marko, AU - Kivimäki,Mika, PY - 2006/11/08/received PY - 2007/04/30/revised PY - 2007/05/08/accepted PY - 2007/9/11/pubmed PY - 2007/12/6/medline PY - 2007/9/11/entrez SP - 182 EP - 7 JF - American journal of preventive medicine JO - Am J Prev Med VL - 33 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Work stress is a recognized risk factor for mental health disorders, but it is not known whether work stress is associated with the morbidity among individuals with psychologic distress. Another shortcoming in earlier research is related to common method bias-the use of individual perceptions of both work stress and psychologic distress. This prospective study was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), which identified psychologic distress as a predictor of sickness absence and the effect of work-unit measures of job strain on sickness absence among cases. METHODS: Survey data were collected on work stress, indicated by high job strain, for a cohort of public sector employees (6,663 women, 1,323 men), aged 18 to 62 at baseline in 2000-2002, identified as GHQ-12 cases. Coworker assessments of job strain were used to control for bias due to response style. A 2-year follow-up included recorded long-term (>7 days) medically certified sickness absence. Adjustments were made for age, socioeconomic position, baseline chronic physical disease, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption. RESULTS: Cases with psychologic distress had 1.3 to 1.4 times higher incidence of long-term sickness absence than non cases. Among cases, high job strain predicted sickness absence (hazard ratio 1.17 in women, 1.41 in men). The significant effect of job strain on sickness absence was found among workers in high socioeconomic positions (hazard ratio 1.54 for women, 1.58 for men) but not among employees in low socioeconomic positions (hazard ratio 1.06 for women, 1.31 for men). CONCLUSIONS: Psychologic distress has an independent effect on medically certified sickness absence. The identification of employees with high job strain and the improvement of their working conditions should be considered as an important target in the prevention of adverse consequences of psychologic distress. SN - 0749-3797 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17826576/Job_strain_and_psychologic_distress_influence_on_sickness_absence_among_Finnish_employees_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0749-3797(07)00308-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -