[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Sweden has a public and easily accessible sickness insurance. Research shows, however, downsides to taking sick leave. Both short and longer periods of sick leave have been seen to increase the risk for subsequent work absence. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there was an association between sick leave claimed in 1993 and work absence in the subsequent 15 years, i.e. up to 2008. A further aim was to explore differences in this relation with regard to gender, origin and educational level at baseline. Methods Our cohort consisted of all immigrants aged 21–25 years in Sweden in 1993 and a control group of native Swedes in the same age group. Results Subsequent work absence increased from 313 days among persons with no days of claimed sick leave in 1993 to 567 days among persons with 1–7 days of claimed sick leave in 1993. Thereafter there was a lower, but steady increase in days of future work absence, to 611 days among persons with 8–14 days of sick leave claimed in 1993. There was an interaction between sick leave and gender, education and origin respectively regarding later work absence. Conclusion Periods of sick leave claimed were associated with subsequent work absence. Immigrants, women and persons with low education had the most risk of future work absence after a period of sick leave.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. Flight baggage handlers sort and load luggage to airplanes. This study aimed at investigating associations between psychosocial exposures and low back and shoulder musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among Swedish flight baggage handlers. Methods. A questionnaire addressing MSDs (Standardized Nordic Questionnaire) and psychosocial factors (Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, COPSOQ) was answered by 525 baggage handlers in six Swedish airports. Results. Low back (LBP) and shoulder pain (SP) were reported by 70% and 60%, respectively. Pain was reported to interfere with work (PIW) by 30% (low back) and 18% (shoulders), and intense pain (PINT) occurred in 34% and 28% of the population. Quality of leadership was the most dissatisfying psychosocial factor, while the most positive was social community at work. Low ratings in the combined domain Work organization and job content were significantly associated with PIW in both low back and shoulders (Adjusted Hazard Ratios 3.65 (95% CI 1.67-7.99) and 2.68 (1.09-6.61)) while lower ratings in the domain Interpersonal relations and leadership were associated with PIW LBP (HR 2.18 (1.06-4.49)) and PINT LBP and SP (HRs 1.95 (1.05-3.65) and 2.11 (1.08-4.12)). Conclusion. Severity of pain among flight baggage handlers was associated with psychosocial factors at work, suggesting that they may be a relevant target for intervention in this occupation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The effect of psychosocial work environment on personal and organizational aspects of employees is well-known; and it is of fundamental importance to have valid tools to evaluate them. This study aims to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Persian version of Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ).
The questionnaire was translated into Persian and then back translated into English by two translators separately. The wording of the final Persian version was established by comparing the translated versions with the original questionnaire. One hundred three health care workers completed the questionnaire. Chronbach's alpha was calculated, and factor analysis was performed.
Factor analysis revealed acceptable validity for the five contexts of the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.73 to 0.82 in different contexts.
This study revealed that the Persian version of COPSOQ is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring psychosocial factors at work.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the influence of healthy lifestyle behaviour on the prognosis of occasional low back pain among men and women in a general population.
Cohort study with a 4-year follow-up.
General population in Stockholm County, Sweden.
The study sample comprised 3938 men and 5056 women aged 18-84 from the Stockholm Public Health Cohort reporting occasional low back pain in the baseline questionnaire 2006.
Lifestyle factors and potential confounders were assessed at baseline. The lifestyle factors smoking habits, alcohol consumption, leisure physical activity and consumption of fruit and vegetables were dichotomised using recommendations for a health-enhancing lifestyle and combined to form the exposure variable 'healthy lifestyle behaviour'. The exposure was categorised into five levels according to the number of healthy lifestyle factors met. The follow-up questionnaire in 2010 gave information about the outcome, long duration troublesome low back pain. Crude and adjusted binomial regression models were applied to estimate the association between the exposure and the outcome analysing men and women separately.
The risk of developing long duration troublesome low back pain among women with occasional low back pain decreased with increasing healthy lifestyle behaviour (trend test: p=0.006). 21% (28/131) among women with no healthy lifestyle factor (reference) experienced the outcome compared to 9% (36/420) among women with all four factors. Compared to the reference group, the risk was reduced by 35% (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.96) for women with one healthy lifestyle factor and 52% (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.77) for women with all four healthy lifestyle factors. There were no clear associations found among men.
Healthy lifestyle behaviour seems to decrease the risk of developing long duration troublesome low back pain among women with occasional low back pain and may be recommended to improve the prognosis.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study presents an investigation of first-time decisions regarding work injury annuity due to occupational disease. Focus is a number of potential underlying factors behind the gender gap, where women are disadvantaged, in the granting of work injury annuity.
All 99 subjects (80 men and 19 women) who met the conditions of long-lasting reduction of work ability due to occupational disease (not occupational accident) in the Swedish Work Injury Insurance Act and were granted work injury annuity in 2010, together with a random sample of 118 subjects (55 men and 63 women) who were denied annuity in the same year, were selected for analysis. Each subject's case file from the Social Insurance Agency was examined with regards to cause of disease, diagnosis and the Social Insurance Agency's management and decision making of claims. The data were analysed by logistic regression analysis.
Men had a higher probability of being granted work injury annuity than women for musculoskeletal disorders (OR 4.16), mental disorders (OR 7.93) and diseases in other diagnostic chapters (OR 3.65). After adjustment for age, country of birth, diagnosis, work exposure factors and decision support factors, the higher probability for men of being granted work injury annuity remained (full model: OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.20 to 5.94).
Actions are necessary in order to establish equitable and gender-neutral treatment of work injury insurance claims. There is a need for more detailed knowledge of exposures in female-dominated jobs and the relationship between these exposures and occupational disease.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Occupational and environmental medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Work-related violence is one of the most serious threats to employee safety and health.
To ascertain the extent of self-reported violence or threats of violence at work in relation to the general health of public sector employees.
The study population comprised 9,611 female (83%) and male public employees in Sweden. A questionnaire based on items derived mainly from validated instruments was constructed to cover aspects such as health, lifestyle, and physical and psychosocial work conditions.
One in three employees reported work-related violence, with the highest proportions among psychiatric nurses (79%) and psychiatric attendants (75%). Work-related violence more often affected those who were < 45 years old, worked < 40 hours/week, worked nights, or reported poor health. Regardless of gender, age, hours of work, night work, and type of occupation, exposure to work-related violence was associated with less than good general health, and this relationship was strongest for psychiatric nurses (OR=3.19; 95% CI=1.28-7.98), medical doctors/dentists (OR=2.46; 95% CI=1.35-4.49), compulsory school teachers (OR=2.14; 95% CI=1.33-3.45), and other nurses (OR=1.87; 95% CI=1.23-2.84).
Work-related violence was frequently reported by employees in the most common public sector occupations, and it was associated withpoor health in both genders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
There is limited knowledge about leisure time physical activity and the body mass index (BMI) as prognostic factors for recovery from persistent back pain. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of leisure time physical activity and BMI on recovery from persistent back pain among men and women in a general population.
The study population (n=1836) in this longitudinal cohort study consisted of participants reporting persistent back pain in the baseline questionnaire in 2002-2003. Data on leisure time physical activity, BMI and potential confounders were also collected at baseline. Information on recovery from persistent back pain (no back pain periods ≥ 7 days during the last 5 years) was obtained from the follow-up questionnaire in 2007. Log-binomial models were applied to calculate Risk Ratios with 95 percent Confidence Intervals (CI) comparing physically active and normal weight groups versus sedentary and overweight groups.
Compared to a sedentary leisure time, all measured levels of leisure time physical activity were associated with a greater chance of recovery from persistent back pain among women. The adjusted Risk Ratios was 1.46 (95% CI: 1.06, 2.01) for low leisure time physical activity, 1.51 (95% CI: 1.02, 2.23) for moderate leisure time physical activity, and 1.67 (95% CI: 1.08, 2.58) for high leisure time physical activity. There were no indications that leisure time physical activity influenced recovery among men, or that BMI was associated with recovery from persistent back pain either among men or among women.
Regular leisure time physical activity seems to improve recovery from persistent back pain among women.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sleep problems are common complaints in health care workers that can affect quality of life and productivity, both in patients and healthy individuals. This study evaluates the prevalence of low sleep quality in health care workers with no health issues or complaints of sleep problems.
In this cross-sectional study was conducted on healthy employees of a health care organization in Tehran. The presence of physical and mental health issues and satisfaction from their sleep quality was assessed by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Sleep quality was evaluated by the Persian version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). PSQI scores of 5 or less were considered as good sleep quality.
From 925 participants, 56.9% were good sleepers. There was a significant association between poor sleep quality and female sex, divorced, shift-working, and age; it was not associated with education level. Self-rated health (SRH) had a significant positive correlation with sleep quality.
Poor sleep quality is common in our study population and associated with a lower SRH. The high prevalence of poor sleep quality in a group of healthy non-complaining employees can be an important early sign of underlying physical or mental health issues. Providing screening and monitoring programs to detect the underlying health conditions and their consequent treatment can promote health and productivity of employees and improve society's health, both directly and indirectly.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Archives of Iranian medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
There are many immigrants in the Swedish workforce, but knowledge of their general and work-related health is limited. The aim of this register-based study was to explore whether documented migrant residents in Sweden have a different health status regarding receipt of a disability pension, mortality and hospitalization for lung, heart, psychiatric, and musculoskeletal disorders compared with the native population, and if there were variations in relation to sex, geographical origin, position on the labor market, and time since first immigration.
This study included migrants to Sweden since 1960 who were 28–47 years old in 1990, and included 243 860 individuals. The comparison group comprised a random sample of 859 653 native Swedes. These cohorts were followed from 1991 to 2008 in national registers. The immigrants were divided into four groups based on geographic origin. Hazard ratios for men and women from different geographic origins and with different employment status were analyzed separately for the six outcomes, with adjustment for age, education level, and income. The influence of length of residence in Sweden was analyzed separately.
Nordic immigrants had increased risks for all investigated outcomes while most other groups had equal or lower risks for those outcomes than the Swedes. The lowest HRs were found in the EU 15+ group (from western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand). All groups, except Nordic immigrants, had lower risk of mortality, but all had higher risk of disability pension receipt compared with native Swedes. Unemployed non-Nordic men displayed equal or lower HRs for most outcomes, except disability pension receipt, compared with unemployed Swedish men. A longer time since first immigration improved the health status of men, while women showed opposite results.
Employment status and length of residence are important factors for health. The contradictory results of low mortality and high disability pension risks need more attention. There is great potential to increase the knowledge in this field in Sweden, because of the high quality registers.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of health status on productivity has widely been studied and discussed in literature. Valid and reliable tools are needed to evaluate the levels of health and productivity and provide detailed information, before any intervention is implemented. World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) is a widely used instrument in estimating the workplace costs of health problems in terms of reduced job performance, sickness absence, and work-related accidents and injuries.
To assess the reliability and validity of Persian version of HPQ in Iranian health care workers.
The questionnaire was translated to Persian and back translated. 102 health care workers completed the questionnaire. Absence and sick-leave data was extracted from administrative records.
Factor analysis revealed acceptable validity for the questionnaire in part A (health). Cronbach's alpha was >0.73 for all scales of Parts B (work) and C (demographic). Questions targeting days of absence and sick-leave had acceptable correlation with administrative records (Pearson's r >0.75), while questions on total hours worked showed lower correlation.
Persian version of HPQ can be considered a reliable and valid tool in Iranian health workers.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The aim was threefold: 1) to describe the experiences of driving and implementing a workplace-based rehabilitation intervention in cooperation with the occupational health service (OHS); 2) to investigate which people received multimodal and/or vocational rehabilitation measures; 3) to find predictors of return to work (RTW).Participants: Altogether 779 employees on sick leave for 90 days or more with mainly musculoskeletal or psychological/stress-related problems, 90% women. Methods: The HAKuL model was introduced, implying an early team assessment at the OHS and good access to rehabilitation measures. The study is a prospective three-year study with a two-year follow-up. Results: The rehabilitation intervention encountered challenges. Counter-measures were taken to facilitate coordination and communication. People with musculoskeletal problems often received both multimodal and vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation was advocated for people who were under 55 years of age, and for those with stress-related problems. The strongest predictive factors for RTW were: having received only vocational rehabilitation and being under 45 years of age. Conclusion: The HAKuL model can be used in a wider context, but the study shows the need for coordination between multiple stakeholders. Supervisors should pay attention to people who have musculoskeletal problems and are older, as soon as problems emerge.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Youth unemployment is an increasing problem for societies around the world. Research has revealed negative health effects of unemployment, and this longitudinal register-based cohort study examined the relationship between unemployment and later sickness absence, disability pension and death among youth in Sweden.
The study group of 199,623 individuals comprised all immigrants born between 1968 and 1972 who immigrated before 1990 (25,607) and a random sample of native Swedes in the same age-range (174,016). The baseline year was 1992, and the follow-up period was from 1993 to 2007. Subjects with unemployment benefit in 1990-91, disability pension in 1990-92, severe disorders leading to hospitalization in 1990-92 and subjects who emigrated during follow-up were excluded.
Those who were unemployed in 1992 had elevated risk of ≥60 days of sickness absence (OR 1.02-1.49), disability pension (HR 1.08-1.62) and all except native Swedish women had elevated risk of death (HR 1.01-1.65) during follow-up compared with non-unemployed individuals. The risk of future sickness absence increased with the length of unemployment in 1992 (OR 1.06-1.54), and the risk of sickness absence increased over time. A larger part of the immigrant cohort was unemployed at baseline than native Swedes. Selection to unemployment by less healthy subjects may explain part of the association between unemployment and the studied outcomes.
Unemployment at an early age may influence the future health of the individual. To a society it may lead to increased burdens on the welfare system and productivity loss for many years.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · The European Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background.
The present study is part of a 3-year longitudinal study on work and health among employees in the public sector in Sweden. The aim was to study associations between self-rated health (SRH) and financial situation, education, and managerial responsibility.
Of the 9003 employees, 7533 answered the baseline questionnaires (84%). Altogether 9373 subjects received the follow-up questionnaire, and 6617 subjects responded (71%). In total 4240 completed the questionnaire on both occasions, and this group comprised the study population. SRH consisted of the response to a single question: ‘In general, would you say your health is excellent, very good, good, poor, or very poor?' The health was investigated in terms of the development of health status in the 3-year follow-up. The exposure factors were: financial situation, education, and managerial responsibility. Odds ratios were analysed using logistic regressions.
Good financial situation and further education were predictors in maintaining good health and in avoiding poor health. The analysis also indicated the following determinants of sustained good SRH: having a good financial situation (OR 1.99 at baseline and OR 1.87 at follow-up), having a further education compared to lower education (OR 1.17 at baseline), and not having a worsening financial situation between baseline and follow-up (OR 0.53).
Financial situation and educational level were important factors that influence the subjective perception of health.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Upsala journal of medical sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to examine the relation between occupational and nonoccupational conditions and both incident
(IBLP) and chronic low back pain (CLBP), aswellasdepression, among women and men. Data from a4-year follow-up of a study group
consisting of 420 participants of both genders from the general Swedish population were analysed. Occupational risk indicators
were predictors for both ILBP and CLBP. Depression was not found to be a predictor for either IBLP or CLBP among women, but
was a predictor for CLBP among men. Among women, depression had some risk indicators in common with ILBP and appeared to be
a concurrent outcome rather than a risk indicator. Low back pain in 1993 was not a predictor for depression in 1997 in either
women or men. Occupational conditions are of relevance in relation to both incident and CLBP. Nonoccupational conditions were
stronger predictors for CLBP than for ILBP but had some predictive value also for ILBP.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have shown associations between higher income and better health, but income has not been studied in relation to neck pain. The aims of this cohort study were to assess the sex-specific role of disposable income for onset and prognosis of neck pain in the general population and if economic stress influences such potential associations.
Two subcohorts were identified in the Stockholm Public Health Cohort with data from 2002. Cohort I (risk cohort) included persons without neck pain (n=8348). Cohort II (prognostic cohort) included persons with occasional neck pain during the previous 6 months (n=10 523). Both cohorts were assessed for long duration troublesome neck pain (LDNP) in 2007. Individual income was defined as aggregated annual family income in 2002 with each family member assigned a weighted consumption share, based on salary, pensions and social benefits. LDNP in 2007 was defined as having had troublesome neck pain lasting for three or more consecutive months the previous 5 years. Association between income and LDNP, considering potential confounding, was investigated by multivariable logistic regression. Economic stress was tested as effect modifier between income and LDNP.
In both cohorts, associations were found between lower income and a higher risk for LDNP. The results were similar between the sexes. Economic stress modified the associations in both cohorts.
Low income may be a risk as well as prognostic factor for developing LDNP. Furthermore, the results indicate that economic stress may be an underlying factor to consider when studying associations between income and neck pain.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of epidemiology and community health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the scientific literature and search for indicators of healthy work environments. A number of major national and international databases for scientific publication were searched for research addressing indicators of healthy work environments. Altogether 19 768 publications were found. After excluding duplicates, non-relevant publications, or publications that did not comply with the inclusion criteria 24 peer-reviewed publications remained to be included in this systematic review. Only one study explicitly addressing indicators of healthy work environments was found. That study suggested that the presence of stress management programs in an organization might serve as indicator of a 'good place to work', as these organizations were more likely to offer programs that encouraged employee well-being, safety and skill development than those without stress management programs. The other 23 studies either investigated employee's views of what constitute a healthy workplace or were guidelines for how to create such a workplace. Summarizing, the nine most pronounced factors considered as important for a healthy workplace that emerged from these studies were, in descending order: collaboration/teamwork: growth and development of the individual; recognition; employee involvement; positive, accessible and fair leader; autonomy and empowerment; appropriate staffing; skilled communication; and safe physical work.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives Potential associations between sickness absence, self rated health and social support are highly relevant for the current public health research and our aim is to investigate how different aspects of social support at work and in leisure time are associated with SRH and sickness absence.
Methods The longitudinal study group consists of 821 employees from the public sector in Sweden 2005–06. Lifestyle factors, subjective ratings of health and social support at work and in leisure time was measured by questionnaires and sickness absence data was derived from the employer's administrative system. The longitudinal effects of five dimensions of social support, at work and during leisure time, on self-rated health and sick absence was calculated, using a proportional odds model.
Results The majority had good instrumental support at work and good emotional support in leisure time and only one third had good emotional support at work and one out of ten had zero or only one source of support. Social support was strongly associated with SRH but not with sickness absence; a reason can be that sickness absence is a multi-factorial outcome, caused by many complex and interrelated factors.
Conclusions Social support was strongly associated with SRH in this longitudinal context and more strongly if the individuals hade support from several sources, both at work and during leisure time. Strengthening social support at work and including this concept into work group development can improve SRH of employees. This is important both for managers and co-workers to understand and contemplate.
Preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Occupational and Environmental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives This study examined the relationship between long term unemployment (>100 days) during a recession among young men and women, both immigrants and native Swedes, and future unemployment, sickness absence, disability pension and death.
Methods A register-based cohort study with data from national databases. The study population comprised all foreign-born individuals 20–24 years 1992 (N=32 808) and a random sample of Swedish-born individuals of the same age (n=186 352). The cohort was followed 1993–2007. The results were adjusted for age, income and geographical origin and analysed separately for men and women and educational background in three classes.
Results Unemployed individuals at baseline (1992) had a higher risk (measured as OR) of future long-term unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension during follow-up compared to those employed. The length of the unemployment period 1992 was associated with the length of future unemployment periods and sickness absence periods. Unemployed also run an elevated risk of death compared to employed but the numbers were low in this young cohort. The higher the education level for the unemployed the lower the risk of future unemployment. There were no consistent differences between men and women or immigrants and native Swedes for the studied outcomes.
Conclusions Unemployment in young ages led to increased OR for absence from work due to unemployment, sickness and disability pension during a 15-year follow-up period. To enrol young persons in working life seems to be very important both for the individual and the society.
Preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Occupational and Environmental Medicine