Article

How to measure sickness absence? Literature review and suggestion of five basic measures

Unit of Social Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Scandinavian journal of social medicine 07/1998; 26(2):133-44. DOI: 10.1177/14034948980260020201
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine different sick-leave measures used in sickness absence research, and to suggest a systematic way of assessing sickness absence.
A review and analysis of five major studies on sick-leave performed 1983-1988 with an epidemiological approach.
Terminology and measures used varied in the different studies reviewed. The choice of a certain measure was seldom discussed in relation to the aim of the study. Based on the review five measures are suggested: frequency, length, incidence rate, cumulative incidence and duration. The definition of incidence rate is new and is a measure useful in studies of recurrent events within epidemiology.
We have reviewed sick-leave measures previously used in the literature and suggested five basic measures for assessing sick-leave.

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