Relation between perceived health and sick leave in employees with a chronic illness
van den Bossche, S.N.J.
van der Beek, A.J.
Introduction: To improve work participation in individuals with a chronic illness, insight into the role of work-related factors in the association between health and sick leave is needed. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the contribution of work limitations, work characteristics, and work adjustments to the association between health and sick leave in employees with a chronic illness. Methods: All employees with a chronic illness, between 15 and 65 years of age (n = 7,748) were selected from The Netherlands Working Conditions Survey. The survey included questions about perceived health, working conditions, and sick leave. Block-wise multivariate linear regression analyses were performed and, in different blocks, limitations at work, work characteristics, and work adjustments were added to the model of perceived health status. Changes in regression coefficient (B) (%) were calculated for the total group and for sub-groups per chronic illness. Results: When work limitations were added to the model, the B between health and sick leave decreased by 18% (5.0 to 4.1). Adding work characteristics did not decrease the association between health and sick leave, but the B between work limitations and sick leave decreased by 14%, (5.3 to 4.5). When work adjustments were added to the model, the Bs between sick leave and work limitations and work characteristics changed from 4.5 to 3.4 for work limitations and from 2.1 to 1.9 for temporary contract and from -0.8 to -1.0 for supervisor support. Conclusions: The association between health and sick leave was explained by limitations at work, work characteristics, and work adjustments. Paying more attention to work limitations, characteristics and adjustments offers opportunities to reduce the negative consequences of chronic illness. © The Author(s) 2010.
To reference this document use:
WH - Work & Health
BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21 (2), 211-219