Non-modifiable worker and workplace risk factors contributing to workplace absence: A stakeholder-centred synthesis of systematic reviews.Work. 2015; 52(2):353-73.WORK
Workplace stakeholders report the identification and translation of relevant high quality research to inform workplace disability policy and practice is a challenge. The present study engaged academic and community stakeholders in conducting a best evidence-synthesis to identify non-modifiable risk and protective worker and workplace factors impacting work-related absence across a variety of health conditions.
To identify non-modifiable worker and workplace disability risk and protective factors impacting work-related absence across common health conditions.
The research team searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, BusinessSource-Complete, and ABI/Inform from 2000 to 2011. Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods systematic reviews of work-focused population were considered for inclusion. Two or more reviewers independently reviewed articles for inclusion and methodological screening.
The search strategy, including expert input and grey literature, led to the identification of 2,467 unique records. From this initial search, 2325 were eliminated by title or abstract review, 142 articles underwent comprehensive review to assess for inclusion, 26 systematic reviews met eligibility criteria for this synthesis. For non-modifiable worker and workplace factors we found consistent evidence across two or more health conditions for increased risk of disability in situations where workers experience lower education, older age, emotional distress, poor personal functioning, decreased physical functioning, psychological symptoms, overweight status, and greater sick leave history.
Heterogeneity of existing literature due to differences in outcome measures, definitions and research designs limited ability to assess effect size and results reflect findings limited to English-language papers.