Do psychosocial work factors and social relations exert independent effects on sickness absence? A six year prospective study of the GAZEL cohort.
ABSTRACT The objective of this prospective cohort study was to determine whether psychosocial work characteristics and social relations exert independent effects on the incidence of sickness absence in a population of middle aged French employees over six years of follow up.
This study included 9631 men and 3595 women participating in the French GAZEL cohort. Social relations (social networks, personal social support, and social relations satisfaction) were measured in 1994 by self report. Psychosocial work characteristics (decision latitude, psychological demands, and social support at work) were ascertained in 1995. Sickness absence data were collected independently. The authors studied the incidence of short (>7 days), intermediate (7-21 days), and long (>21 days) spells of absence from 1995 to 31 December 2001. Rate ratios associated with psychosocial exposures, adjusted on sociodemographic characteristics, and health behaviours, were calculated by means of log-linear Poisson regression.
A cohort of 20000 employees of France's national gas and electricity company (the GAZEL study). Main results: Among men and women, levels of decision latitude and personal social support below the median predicted 17% to 24% increases in absence rates. Low satisfaction with social relations and low social support at work lead to a 10% to 26% excess in sick leaves among men. No interactive effects were found between the variables under study.
The quality of the work environment and of social relations affect sickness absence over an extended period of follow up. This study supports the hypothesis of independent, not interactive effects.
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ABSTRACT: It is well documented that women have generally higher morbidity rates than men. In line with this women are also more absent from work due to sickness. This paper considers one popular explanation of the morbidity difference in general and of the difference in sickness absence in particular, viz. that women to a greater extent than men are exposed to the 'double burden' of combining paid work with family obligations. We discuss theories of role overload and role conflict, which both assume that the combination of multiple roles may have negative health effects, as well theories of role enhancement, which assume positive health effects of multiple roles. Using two large Norwegian data sets, the relationship between the number of and the age of children on the one hand and sickness absence on the other is examined separately for men and women and for a number of theoretically interesting subpopulations of women defined in terms of marital status (also taking account of unmarried cohabitation), level of education, and working hours. Generally speaking the association between children and sickness absence is weak, particularly for married people of both genders. To the extent that married persons with children are more absent than married persons without children, this is largely due to respiratory conditions. The relationship between children and sickness absence is somewhat stronger for single, never married mothers, but not for single mothers who have been previously married or for women living in unmarried cohabitation. The findings thus provide little support for either role overload/conflict or role enhancement theories. The possibility that these effects are both present and counterbalancing each other or that they are confounded with uncontrolled selection effects can not, however, be ruled out.Social Science [?] Medicine 07/2000; 50(12):1827-42. · 2.70 Impact Factor
Article: Psychosocial work characteristics and social support as predictors of SF-36 health functioning: the Whitehall II study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To assess whether work characteristics and social support are predictors of physical, psychological, and social functioning. Work characteristics (Karasek and Siegrist models) and social support at baseline were used to predict health functioning measured by the SF-36 General Health Survey 5 years later in a prospective cohort study of 10,308 British male and female civil servants. Effort-reward imbalance and negative aspects of close relationships predicted poor physical, psychological, and social functioning after adjustment for the potential confounding effects of age, employment grade, baseline ill health, and negative affectivity. These psychosocial characteristics seem to act in a similar way in the healthy and those with existing illness. Psychological demands at work in women, and low confiding/emotional support in men, also predicted poor functioning. Etiologically. these effects are not mediated through health-related behaviors. Negative aspects of work (high demands and effort-reward imbalance) and negative aspects of close relationships are independent powerful predictors of poor health functioning. They may have an etiological role, which is independent of baseline illness.Psychosomatic Medicine 60(3):247-55. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study explored the health and sickness absences of contingent employees. Analyses of self-reported health and recorded spells of sickness absence were based on a cohort of 5650 employees (674 men, 4976 women) in 10 Finnish hospitals. After adjustment for demographic and work-related characteristics, contingent employees had a better self-rated health status [odds ratio 0.76, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.62-0.94 of poor or average health status]. There were no differences in the prevalence of diagnosed chronic diseases and minor psychiatric morbidity between the groups. After adjustment for self-rated health and confounding, female, but not male, contingent employees had a lower rate of self-certified (1-3 days) sickness absences than permanent employees (rate ratio 0.90, 95% CI 0.85-0.95). Contingent employees, irrespective of gender, had a 0.77 (95% CI 0.71-0.84) times lower rate of medically certified (>3 days) sickness absence than permanent employees. Poor self-rated health status, reported diagnosed chronic diseases, and minor psychiatric morbidity were associated with medically certified absences to a less extent among contingent employees than among permanent employees. These findings suggest better self-rated health and a lower sickness absence rate for contingent employees than for permanent employees. The difference in sickness absence between the groups seems not only to be associated with actual differences in health, but also with different thresholds of taking sick leave or working while ill.Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health 12/2001; 27(6):365-72. · 3.12 Impact Factor