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Self-assessed mental health problems and work capacity as determinants of return to work: a prospective general population-based study of individuals with all-cause sickness absence

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Gunnel Hensing
Monica Bertilsson
Gunnar Ahlborg
Margda Waern
Marjan Vaez
Publicerad i Bmc Psychiatry
Volym 13
ISSN 1471-244X
Publiceringsår 2013
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för psykiatri och neurokemi
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244x-13-259
Ämnesord Self-reported mental health problems, Self-assessed work capacity, Return to work, Sickness absence, MINOR DEPRESSION, MAJOR DEPRESSION, MISSING VALUES, ABILITY INDEX, DISABILITY, ASSOCIATION, DISORDERS, WOMEN, WORKPLACE, SYMPTOMS
Ämneskategorier Klinisk medicin

Sammanfattning

Background: Mental health problems are common in the work force and influence work capacity and sickness absence. The aim was to examine self-assessed mental health problems and work capacity as determinants of time until return to work (RTW). Methods: Employed women and men (n= 6140), aged 19-64 years, registered as sick with all-cause sickness absence between February 18 and April 15, 2008 received a self-administered questionnaire covering health and work situation (response rate 54%). Demographic data was collected from official registers. This follow-up study included 2502 individuals. Of these, 1082 were currently off sick when answering the questionnaire. Register data on total number of benefit compensated sick-leave days in the end of 2008 were used to determine the time until RTW. Self-reported persistent mental illness, the WHO (Ten) Mental Well-Being Index and self-assessed work capacity in relation to knowledge, mental, collaborative and physical demands at work were used as determinants. Multinomial and binary logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the likelihood of RTW. Results: The likelihood of RTW (>= 105 days) was higher among those with persistent mental illness OR=2.97 (95% CI, 2.10-4.20) and those with low mental well-being OR=2.89 (95% CI, 2.31-3.62) after adjusting for gender, age, SES, hours worked and sick leave 2007. An analysis of employees who were off sick when they answered the questionnaire, the likelihood of RTW (>= 105 days) was higher among those who reported low capacity to work in relation to knowledge, mental, collaborative and physical demands at work. In a multivariable analysis, the likelihood of RTW (>= 105 days) among those with low mental well-being remained significant OR=1.93 (95% CI 1.46-2.55) even after adjustment for all dimensions of capacity to work. Conclusion: Self-assessed persistent mental illness, low mental well-being and low work capacity increased the likelihood of prolonged RTW. This study is unique because it is based on new sick-leave spells and is the first to show that low mental well-being was a strong determinant of RTW even after adjustment for work capacity. Our findings support the importance of identifying individuals with low mental well-being as a way to promote RTW.

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