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

Department of Health and Environment, Linköping University, 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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