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Womenʼs experiences of being in the sick leave process

Journal article
Authors Christina Andersson
Lena Mårtensson
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
ISSN 1103-8128
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1080/11038128.20...
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/322...
Keywords Occupational therapy, qualitative research, return to work, sickness absence
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences

Abstract

© 2020, © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Being on sick leave is a risky situation, with loss of meaningful activities, exclusion from the labour market and losing the worker role. Although the benefits of the person’s active involvement in the sick leave process have been emphasized, an increase in sickness absence and longer sick leave periods is still seen, especially among women. Further studies are needed to more deeply understand the person’s own view of the situation. Aims/Objectives: To explore the experiences of being on sick leave among a group of women. Methods: An explorative, qualitative design was used. The analysis was based on individual, semi-structured interviews with 13 women, using qualitative content analysis. Results: Three categories emerged that describe the women’s experiences of the situation of being on sick leave: being regarded as an object, being supported and being engaged. The categories appeared as either barriers or enablers during the sick leave process. Conclusions: The sick leave process could be better understood through multiple dimensions, working at the individual, organizational and societal levels. Using occupation based models underlining the importance of the interaction between person, occupation (work activity) and the environment may contribute to elucidating the complexity in supporting options for the return to work.

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