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Sickness absence with low-back, shoulder, or neck diagnoses: An 11-year follow-up regarding gender differences in sickness absence and disability pension
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Department of Social Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University.
2005 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 25, no 2, 115-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: There is very little knowledge on the long-term outcomes of sickness absence. The aim was to investigate sickness absence and disability pensions over 11 years in a cohort of young persons initially long-term sick listed with back, neck, or shoulder diagnoses.

Method: A prospective population-based cohort study of all 213 individuals in the Municipality of Linköping, Sweden, who in 1985 were aged 25-34 and had at least one new sick-leave spell > 28 days with such diagnoses.

Main results: More women (61%) than men fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In 1996, 22% of the cohort (14% of the men, 26% of the women) had been granted disability pension; 76% of these individuals with musculoskeletal and the rest with psychiatric diagnoses. Partial disability pension was granted to 59% of the women, 17% of the men. Women were more often granted temporary disability pension than men.

Conclusions: This proved to be a high-risk group for disability pension. There were large and somewhat unexpected gender differences regarding incidence and type of disability pension. It has been debated how soon physicians should be concerned about the risk of long-term disability regarding these diagnoses; at four or eight weeks of sickness absence - our results support the former, at least for women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 25, no 2, 115-124 p.
Keyword [en]
sickness absence, sick leave, disability pension, back diagnoses, neck diagnoses, shoulder diagnoses, gender
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13672OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13672DiVA: diva2:21143
Available from: 2006-01-18 Created: 2006-01-18 Last updated: 2017-12-13
In thesis
1. Sickness Absence with Musculoskeletal Diagnoses: An Eleven-Year Follow-Up of Young Persons
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sickness Absence with Musculoskeletal Diagnoses: An Eleven-Year Follow-Up of Young Persons
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: In Sweden, as well as in most Western countries, sickness absence is a major public health problem that has increased in recent years. This is a complex phenomenon related not only to ill health factors, but also to other factors on the levels of the individual, the family, the workplace, and the society. Most studies of sickness absence are cross sectional, which makes it difficult to investigate aetiological factors. A longitudinal study design is preferable, because sick-leave spells can have a long duration and are often due to chronic or recurrent disorders.

Objectives: The aim of the present research was to conduct a pilot study to gain further information about factors associated with sickness absence and disability pension, perceptions of contacts with rehabilitation professionals, and self-rated health over time among younger persons initially on sick leave with low-back, neck, or shoulder diagnoses.

Material and methods: An eleven-year prospective cohort study of all individuals who, in 1985, were aged 25–34 years, lived in the municipality of Linköping, Sweden, and had a sick-leave spell ≥ 28 days with low-back, neck, or shoulder diagnoses (n = 213, 61% women). The following information was obtained from registers: number of sick-leave days and spells in 1982–1984; diagnosis and demographical data in 1985 (age, sex, occupation, citizenship, marital status, and income); data on each sick-leave period (date, full/part time), disability pension (date, diagnoses, temporary/permanent, full/part time); emigration (date), and death (date, cause) from 1985 to 1 September 1996. In 1996, a questionnaire was sent to members of the cohort (response rate 73%). Different measures were used to analyse sickness absence and disability pension over the eleven-year period, possible risk factors for disability pension were tested by Cox regression, and possible factors predicting future low levels of sickness absence were tested by logistic regression. Based on the questionnaire perceptions of encounters with rehabilitation professionals were analysed with factor analyses and linear regression, and the so called health-line (a method to collect data on self-rated health over time) was tested, and the results were compared with data on sickness absence and disability ension.

Results: The members of the cohort turned out to be a high-risk group for disability pension. After 11 years, 26% of the women and 14% of the men had been granted such benefits, mainly due to musculoskeletal diagnoses, but also with psychiatric diagnoses for half of the men and 17% of the women. Full-time pension was granted more often to men than to women. The women had higher levels of sickness absence. An extended Cox regression model proved suitable for prediction of disability pension. Taking citizenship and long-term sickness absence into consideration, the women had a 1.9 times higher risk of being granted disability pension than the men. Predictors for future low levels of sickness absence were a history of low sickness absence, having a white-collar job, and being married. These associations were not discerned when a pathogenic approach was used, which implies that factors other than the opposite risk factor for disability pension are associated with future low sickness absence. Three dimensions of the individuals’ contacts with professionals were identified: supportive treatment, distant treatment, and empowering treatment.

Women perceived both social insurance officers and health care professionals as more supportive than the men did. Contact with social insurance officers was experienced as more supportive and empowering by persons on disability pension than by those not receiving such benefits. Data collected using the health-line (i.e., self-rated health from 1985 to 1995) was correlated with data on annual mean number of sick-leave days and days on disability pension. No tendency to recall bias was noted.

Conclusions: Additional research is needed to elucidate the situation of women on sick leave with low-back, neck, and shoulder diagnoses. Further testing and practical application of statistical and epidemiological models for analysing sickness absence and disability pension data should be carried out to ascertain the validity and usefulness of such models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2003. 75 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 786
Keyword
sickness absence, sick leave, ill health, disability pension, musculoskeletal diagnoses, low back, neck, shoulder, clients’ perceptions of treatment, health-line, self-rated health
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5210 (URN)91-7373-545-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-05-07, Aulan, Hälsans hus, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note
On the day of the public defence the status of the article I was: Submitted; article III was: Accepted; article IV was: Submitted and article V was: In press.Available from: 2006-01-18 Created: 2006-01-18 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Alexanderson, KristinaBorg, Karin E.

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