August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2)

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Research Plus

Bullying associated with sickness absence

Workplace bullying is an important risk factor for sickness absence, this systematic review confirms. Sixteen of the 17 included studies – which together included nearly 105,000 participants – found a statistically significant, positive and direct association between bullying and absence. Based on a meta-analysis of 10 studies, the pooled odds ratio of absence risk in those bullied at work compared with those not bullied was 1.58 (CI 1.39–1.79). Absence risk was assessed differently in the included trials – some looked at the number of spells, and others the duration of absence.


  1. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2016 – online first: doi: 10.5271/sjweh.357.


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2) pp41