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June/July 2010 (vol. 07/1)

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Research Plus

Mental-health absence

A longitudinal study of nearly 10,000 Dutch telecommunications and postal workers finds that workers with a previous episode of sickness absence with a common mental health disorder (CMHD) are at increased risk of recurrent CMHD sickness absence. The cohort comprised all workers who had taken medically certified absence due to CMHDs during a seven-year follow-up (7.2% of the dynamic working population). A quarter (23%–25%) of the total absence at the telecommunications company, and 9%–13% in the postal company, was attributed to long-term sickness from CMHDs. Median absence duration was 62 days per episode. One-fifth (19%) of the cohort had a recurrent CMHD absence, and 90% of repeat absences occurred within three years.

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2010; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-010-0540-4.

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Occupational Health at Work June/July 2010 (vol. 07/1) pp38