Els Clays

Els Clays
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Public Health

PhD

About

248
Publications
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September 2001 - present
Ghent University

Publications

Publications (248)
Article
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Purpose We investigated relations between day-to-day job demands, job control, job strain, social support at work, and day-to-day work–life interference among office workers in academia. Methods This study is based on a 15-working day data collection period using an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) implemented in our self-developed STRAW smar...
Article
Objective The impact of various psychosocial factors (sense of coherence, illness perception, patient enablement, self-efficacy, health literacy, personality) is not fully understood across a wide range of chronic diseases, and in particular in patients with multimorbidity. As such, this study assessed the key psychosocial factors associated with i...
Article
AIMS: This study aimed to provide an overview on contemporary gender differences in HRQoL/psychological distress and their relationship with comorbidity burden among European coronary heart disease (CHD) patients. METHODS: Analyses were based on the cross-sectional ESC EORP EUROASPIRE V survey. Consecutive patients (aged 18–80 years), hospitalized...
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Background In contrast to leisure time physical activity (LTPA), occupational physical activity (OPA) does not have similar beneficial health effects. These differential health effects, also known as the physical activity health paradox, might be explained by dissimilar effects of LTPA and OPA on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). This study aims to...
Article
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Introduction Physical activity (PA) as health promotion tool is not one without adverse effects and adolescents with nonfatal physical activity-related injuries (PARI) may experience serious health consequences for the rest of their lives. Purpose The aim of this study was to assess the associations between physical activity-related injuries in ad...
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Background ‘Sit less-move more' has been a common advice to improve health of adults. Research indicates that this advice might be health enhancing among adults with sedentary occupations but not among adults with physically active occupations such as cleaners. This may be explained by the considerable differences in 24-h physical behaviors between...
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There is strong and consistent evidence that leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Less is known about health effects of occupational physical activity (OPA), and results are not in favor of a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health. Several large-scal...
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Background Physical activity is a key determinant for health and considered as an important factor in the prevention of lifestyle related-diseases. All physical activity domains are generally considered to be health enhancing. However, accumulating evidence in recent years suggests that occupational physical activity may not have the same beneficia...
Article
Introduction: To date, no study has investigated the impact of polypharmacy (use of ≥5 medications concurrently) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and psychological distress in a combined sample of chronic disease patients and patients with multimorbidity, using diverse HRQOL measures. This study aimed to explore the association between po...
Article
Objective: Forward bending of the back is common in many jobs and a risk factor for sickness absence. However, this knowledge is based on self-reported forward bending that is generally imprecise. Thus, we aimed to investigate the dose-response relation between device-measured forward bending at work and prospective register-based risk of long-ter...
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Background The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly rising, both in terms of morbidity and mortality. This burden is disproportionally carried by socially disadvantaged population subgroups. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) measure the impact of disease on mortality and morbidity into a single index. This study aims to estimate the burden of ch...
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Naar aanleiding van onze Summer School rond welzijn op het werk namen we een bevraging af bij een representatieve steekproef van 1.009 Vlamingen om na te gaan hoe het gesteld is met het welzijn op het werk van de Vlaamse werknemer. In deze Story @ UGent @ Work bespreken we de meest opmerkelijke cijfers en duiden die vanuit recent wetenschappelijk o...
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Purpose We lack knowledge on whether the advice of “being physically active” should be the same for prevention and rehabilitation of low back pain (LBP). Sickness absence is a key outcome for LBP prevention and rehabilitation. We investigated the associations between physical activity and long-term sickness absence (LTSA) among employees with and w...
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Emerging literature is highlighting the huge toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline health workers. However, prior to the crisis, the wellbeing of this group was already of concern. The aim of this paper is to describe the frequency of distress and wellbeing, measured by the expanded 9-item Mayo Clinic Wellbeing Index (eWBI), among general prac...
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Information on trends in adolescent health inequalities is scarce but the available evidence suggests that inequalities are increasing. Prior studies describe associations between material resources of socioeconomic status (SES) and health, while information on non-material SES resources and inequalities in health behaviours is lacking. To improve...
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Background While chronic workplace stress is known to be associated with health-related outcomes like mental and cardiovascular diseases, research about day-to-day occupational stress is limited. This systematic review includes studies assessing stress exposures as work environment risk factors and stress outcomes, measured via self-perceived quest...
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Background Chronic diseases and multimorbidity are a major cause of disease burden—for patients, caregivers, and society. Little is known however about potential interaction effects between specific disease combinations. Besides an additive effect, the presence of multiple conditions could also act synergistically or antagonistically regarding the...
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Workplace stress remains a major interest of occupational health research, usually based on theoretical models and quantitative large-scale studies. Office workers are especially exposed to stressors such as high workload and time pressure. The aim of this qualitative research was to follow a phenomenological approach to identify work stressors as...
Article
Introduction Health-care organizations are facing a high burden of ergonomic occupational accidents, and prevention is a continuous point of interest. In this manuscript, we describe the characteristics of ergonomic accidents in a large Belgian university hospital and discuss the value of near misses. Methods Combining databases, we identified the...
Article
Congestive heart failure is a chronic medical condition that affects about 2 % of the adult population. Even though it cannot be cured, it can be relieved by a proper, long-term, complex and personalized disease management. In this paper we present the HeartMan Decision Support System (DSS), aimed at supporting individual patients in their uptake o...
Preprint
Background. The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly rising, both in terms of morbidity and mortality. This burden is disproportionally carried by socially disadvantaged population subgroups. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) measure the impact of disease on mortality and morbidity into a single index. This study aims to estimate the burden of c...
Article
Full-text available
Background Little is known about how patients with low socioeconomic status (SES) experience their chronic disease, and how it impacts health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Compared to their more affluent counterparts, worse outcomes have been reported. A better understanding of the domains of HRQoL that are relevant to these specific populations...
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Objective This study explored the role of occupational physical activity (OPA), physical demands and psychosocial work-related factors on low back pain (LBP) and neck–shoulder pain (NSP) amongst workers with physically demanding professions.Methods Data from 331 participants within the service and manufacturing sector in the Flemish Employees’ Phys...
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Voorstel 1. Laat partners aan elkaar pensioenrechten doneren (prof. dr. Luc Van Ootegem en prof. dr. Elsy Verhofstadt) Voorstel 2. Schrap loonlastverminderingen voor oudere werknemers (prof. dr. Bart Cockx en dr. Sam Desiere) Voorstel 3. Verlaag pensioenopbouw bij langdurige werkloosheid (prof. dr. Stijn Baert) Voorstel 4. Voer deeltijds pensioen p...
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Background Previous research identified an association between work–family conflict and musculoskeletal pain. This study explores how conflict arising from participating in both the work and nonwork domains might influence the relationships between musculoskeletal pain experienced by workers and particular work-related hazards. Methods A cross-sec...
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This study uses survey data among both a random sample (N = 500) and a convenience sample (N = 2,919) of Flemish adults to assess public support for 24 potential labour market reforms. The results show that there is a lot of public support for (both encouraged and mandatory) training and community service for the unemployed and for the so-called 'j...
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Background Heavy occupational lifting is prevalent in the general working population and is sparsely reported to associate with hypertension, especially among older and hypertensive workers. We investigated if heavy occupational lifting is associated with hypertension and blood pressure (BP) in both cross-sectional and prospective study designs in...
Article
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This study tested the effectiveness of HeartMan—a mobile personal health system offering decisional support for management of congestive heart failure (CHF)—on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), self-management, exercise capacity, illness perception, mental and sexual health. A randomized controlled proof-of-concept trial (1:2 ratio of control...
Article
Aims: To assess the association between past level of physical activity (PA) and risk for death during the acute phase of myocardial infarction (MI) in a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Methods and results: European cohorts including participants with a baseline assessment of PA, conventional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, and available fo...
Article
Background: Although heart failure (HF) patients often consider sexual activity as an essential aspect of their quality of life (QoL) and are usually uncertain if it is safe to perform sexual activity, this topic is overall poorly addressed in clinical practice. Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions and practices of Flemish...
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Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are developing Joint Estimates of the work-related burden of disease and injury (WHO/ILO Joint Estimates), with contributions from a large network of experts. Evidence from mechanistic data suggests that exposure to long working hours may increase alcoh...
Article
Dit artikel gebruikt resultaten van een survey van zowel een toevalssteekproef (N = 500) als een gemakssteekproef (N = 2919) bij meerderjarige Vlamingen om het draagvlak voor 24 potentiële arbeidsmarkthervormingen na te gaan. Enerzijds tonen de resultaten aan dat er een groot draagvlak is voor (aangemoedigde én verplichte) opleiding en gemeenschaps...
Article
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Several studies have reported on increasing psychosocial stress in academia due to work environment risk factors like job insecurity, work-family conflict, research grant applications, and high workload. The STRAW project adds novel aspects to occupational stress research among academic staff by measuring day-to-day stress in their real-world work...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to leisure time physical activity (LTPA), occupational physical activity (OPA) does not have similar beneficial health effects. These differential health effects might be explained by dissimilar effects of LTPA and OPA on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). This study investigated cross-sectional associations between different physical beh...
Article
Full-text available
Background Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a disease that requires complex management involving multiple medications, exercise, and lifestyle changes. It mainly affects older patients with depression and anxiety, who commonly find management difficult. Existing mobile apps supporting the self-management of CHF have limited features and are inadeq...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a disease that requires complex management involving multiple medications, exercise, and lifestyle changes. It mainly affects older patients with depression and anxiety, who commonly find management difficult. Existing mobile apps supporting the self-management of CHF have limited features and are inadeq...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are developing Joint Estimates of the work-related burden of disease and injury (WHO/ILO Joint Estimates), with contributions from a large network of experts. Evidence from mechanistic data suggests that exposure to long working hours may cause ischaemi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, knowledge about those diseases and predictors with a greater impact on patients' HRQoL as well as knowledge on the complex relationship between HRQoL and comorbidities is lacking. The aim of this study is to assess the impact o...
Article
Background: There is increasing interest in the association between psychological distress and time spent in sedentary behaviour (e.g. sitting), a highly prevalent behaviour in modern society. The limited evidence is mixed and mainly based on studies using self-reported sedentary time. Few studies have investigated device-based total sedentary tim...
Preprint
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Background Prevalence of hypertension varies across occupations, maybe due to differences in exposure to occupational lifting. This study investigated associations between occupational lifting and hypertension, stratified by use of anti-hypertensives, leisure time physical activity (LTPA), occupational physical activity (OPA) and age. Methods Data...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Heavy occupational lifting is prevalent in the general working population and is sparsely reported to associate with hypertension, especially among older and hypertensive workers. We investigated if heavy occupational lifting is associated with hypertension and blood pressure (BP) in both cross-sectional and prospective study designs in...
Article
Aim To examine the relationship between physical and psychosocial work‐related risk factors and perceived work ability (PWA) among nurses Background The work of nurses is challenging due to its high physical and mental workload. This might reduce PWA. A sustainable level of PWA is crucial to maintain wellbeing at work and to prevent early drop‐out...
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Background: The Occupational Sitting and Physical Activity Questionnaire (OSPAQ) was developed as an easy-to-use instrument for self-reported assessment of percentage sitting, standing, walking, and performing heavy labour in a workplace setting. This study aimed to evaluate the concurrent validity of all dimensions of the OSPAQ compared to accele...
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To examine the relation between long working hours and change in body mass index (BMI). We performed random effects meta-analyses using individual-participant data from 19 cohort studies from Europe, US and Australia (n = 122,078), with a mean of 4.4-year follow-up. Working hours were measured at baseline and categorised as part time (<35 h/week),...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The Occupational Sitting and Physical Activity Questionnaire (OSPAQ) was developed as an easy-to-use instrument for self-reported assessment of percentage sitting, standing, walking and performing heavy labour in a workplace setting. This study aimed to evaluate the criterion validity of all dimensions of the OSPAQ compared to objective...
Article
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Purpose Chronic diseases are associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes. Comparison of HRQoL outcomes between different diseases and with the general population is of major importance to health economists, epidemiologists, clinicians, and policy makers. The aim of this systematic literature review was to develop a cata...
Article
Aims: Recent European guidelines recommend in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease to achieve a reduction of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol of at least 50% if the baseline low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level is between 1.8 and 3.5 mmol/L. Systematic reviews have associated a given statin/dose combination with a fixed per...
Article
The aim was to describe occupational physical activity (OPA) and examine the role of psychosocial job resources among blue-collar workers. In a sample of 198 workers (57% male; mean age 44.9 (SD 9.9) year) from 7 companies in Denmark, two accelerometers (Actigraph) were placed on the thigh and trunk during 1-5 consecutive days, to determine working...
Article
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Objective High levels of occupational physical activity (OPA) increase heart rate, blood pressure (BP) and the risk of hypertension. Older workers may be more vulnerable to high levels of OPA due to age-related degeneration of the cardiovascular system and cardiorespiratory fitness. This study investigates the association of relative aerobic worklo...
Article
Objective The aim of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and prospective associations between heavy occupational lifting and hypertension. Methods Data from the third, fourth and fifth examinations of the Copenhagen City Heart Study were included. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to adjust for sex, age, body mass inde...
Article
Full-text available
Background In the current labour system many workers are still exposed to heavy physical demands during their job. In contrast to leisure time physical activity (LTPA), occupational physical activity (OPA) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality, termed “the physical activity (PA) health paradox”. In...
Article
Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the independent associations of occupational (OPA) and sport physical activity (SpPA) and job strain on the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) events, and to explore their interplay. Methods: The study sample included 3310 25-64-year-old employed men, free of CHD at baseline, recruited in thr...
Article
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(1) Background: the main objective of this study was to investigate information needs concerning sexual activity and experienced sexual problems in heart failure (HF) patients and, in addition, to examine the association between these sexual problems and health-related quality of life (HRQoL); (2) Methods: in this cross-sectional study, three self-...
Article
Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) can lead to loss of workability and early retirement. We aimed to investigate return to work (RTW) and its relationship towards psychosocial well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Design: Secondary analyses were applied to cross-sectional data from the EUROASPIRE IV survey (European Action...
Article
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Background: Various physical work demands are shown to be associated with sickness absence. However, these studies have: (a) predominantly used self-reported data on physical work demands that have been shown to be inaccurate compared with technical measurements, (b) principally focused on various physical work demands in 'isolation', i.e. ignorin...
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Purpose An ageing population will necessitate people to work for longer. High occupational physical activities (OPA) are a well-documented barrier to sustainable employment. Blue-collar workers are at high risk for early exit from the labour market, which may be prevented by improved tailoring of OPA to the capacities of ageing workers. However, li...
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Background: Worldwide colorectal cancer is a frequently occurring cancer with a high disease burden. It is the second most frequent cancer in women and the third in men. The incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing because of ageing and unhealthy lifestyles. Aim: We aimed to perform a narrative literature review on methods and strategies for sc...
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Objectives: Although social capital approach has showed its merits in predicting well-being and health in the working environment, studies examining the relation between social capital and burnout are scarce and limited to cross-sectional studies in the health care sector. This study aims to explore the longitudinal relationship between workplace...