April/May 2008 (vol. 04/6)

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Research Plus

Long-term absence review

A systematic review uncovered 16 factors reported as significantly associated with long-term sick leave; however, evidence was generally weak. The study was restricted to cohort studies of workers on sick leave for more than six weeks; just five papers met inclusion criteria. There were four work-related factors – low job satisfaction, low degree of skill discretion, working for a non-profit organisation and a perception of not being welcomed back at work – and 12 individual factors. There is insufficient evidence to substantiate 14 of the factors, since these were identified only in single studies. Older age and a history of sickness absence were significant factors in two studies.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008; 65: 153–157.  http://oem.bmj.com/content/65/3/153.abstract


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2008 (vol. 04/6) pp40