Browsing by Subject "EMPLOYEES"

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  • Mattila-Holappa, Pauliina; Kausto, Johanna; Aalto, Ville; Kaila-Kangas, Leena; Kivimäki, Mika; Oksanen, Tuula; Ervasti, Jenni (2021)
    PurposeAlternative duty work is a procedure that enables an employee with a short-term disability to perform modified duties as an alternative to sickness absence. We examined whether the implementation of an alternative duty policy was associated with reduced sickness absence in the Finnish public sector.MethodsTwo city administrations (A and D) that implemented an alternative duty work policy to their employees (n=5341 and n=7538) served as our intervention cities, and two city administrations (B and C) that did not implement the policy represented the reference cities (n=6976 and n=6720). The outcomes were the number of annual days, all episodes, and short-term (
  • Rantonen, O.; Alexanderson, K.; Clark, A. J.; Aalto, P.; Sonden, A.; Bronnum-Hansen, H.; Hougaard, C. O.; Rod, N. H.; Mittendorfer-Rutz, E.; Kivimäki, M.; Oksanen, T.; Salo, P. (2019)
    Background: Social workers have an elevated risk for mental disorders, but little is known about their antidepressant treatment. Aims: To examine any and long-term antidepressant treatment among social workers in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Methods: We linked records from drug prescription registers to three prospective cohorts: the Finnish Public Sector study, years 2006-2011, and nation-wide cohorts in Sweden and Denmark, years 2006-2014, including a total of 1.5 million employees in (1) social work, (2) other social and health care professions, (3) education and (4) office work. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios for any and long-term (>6 months) antidepressant treatment among social workers compared to the three reference occupational groups and carried out meta-analyses. Results: During follow-up, 25% of social workers had any prescriptions for antidepressants (19-24% reference occupations) and 20% for long-term treatment (14-19% reference occupations). The pooled effects for any and long-term treatment showed that probabilities were 10% higher in social workers compared to other health and social care professionals and 30% higher compared to education and non-human service professionals. Probabilities for any treatment in the three countries were relatively similar, but for long-term treatment social workers in Finland had a greater risk compared with other human service professions. Limitations: There were differences between the cohorts in the availability of data. Specific diagnoses for the antidepressant treatment were not known neither adherence to treatment. Conclusion: Social workers have a higher risk for any and long-term antidepressant treatment than other human and non-human service professionals.
  • Halonen, J. I.; Solovieva, S.; Pentti, J.; Kivimaki, M.; Vahtera, J.; Viikari-Juntura, E. (2016)
    Objectives Policies have been introduced to reduce sickness absence, but their effectiveness is largely unknown. In a natural experiment, we examined effects of legislative changes on return to work and work participation. Methods The source population consisted of up to 72164 Finnish public sector employees with a permanent job contract in 2008-2011 (before) and in 2013-2014 (after). We used employees with a continuous sickness absence of at least 30 calendar-days (n=5708-6393), 60 compensated days (n=1481-1655) and 90 compensated days (n=766-932). We examined sustainable return to work (a minimum of 28 consecutive working days) with survival analysis as well as monthly work participation after a sickness absence, and annual gain in work participation after the intervention, using trajectory analyses. Results Sustainable return to work after 60days of sickness absence occurred earlier after the legislative changes (p value 0.017), although the effect reduced towards the end of the follow-up. There were no differences in return to work after a 30 or 90days of sickness absence. The largest annual gain, postintervention versus preintervention, in monthly work participation was observed among employees with 60days of sickness absence and was 230.9 person-years/10000 employees. The corresponding annual gains among those with 30days and 90days of sickness absence were 51.8 and 39.6, respectively. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the legislative changes, obligating early notification of prolonged sickness absences as well as assessment of remaining work ability and possibilities to continue working, may enhance sustainable return to work in the short term. Other measures will be needed to enhance work participation, especially in the long term.
  • Virtanen, Marianna; Elovainio, Marko (2018)
    Modern work life is characterized by constant change, reorganizations, and requirements of efficiency, which make the distribution of resources and obligations, as well as justice in decisionmaking, highly important. In the work life context, it is a question not only of distributing resources and obligations, but also of the procedures and rules that guide the decisionmaking in the organization. Studies of these rules and procedures have provided the basis for a new line of research that evaluates leadership and social relationships in working communities; that is, distributive, procedural, and relational justice. This review follows the development of research on organizational justice from its origins in early social and motivational psychological theories to its establishment as a major line of research in modern work and organizational psychology. The adverse consequences of injustice include poor team climate, reduced productivity and well-being, and work-related illnesses.
  • Loman, Tina; Lallukka, Tea; Laaksonen, Mikko; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero (2013)
  • Haukka, E.; Kaila-Kangas, L.; Ojajarvi, A.; Saastamoinen, P.; Holtermann, A.; Jorgensen, M. B.; Karppinen, J.; Heliovaara, M.; Leino-Arjas, P. (2015)
    BackgroundMusculoskeletal pain at several sites (multisite pain) is more common than single-site pain. Little is known on its effects on disability pension (DP) retirement. MethodsA nationally representative sample comprised 4071 Finns in the workforce aged 30 to 63. Data (questionnaire, interview, clinical examination) were gathered in 2000-2001 and linked with national DP registers for 2000-2011. Pain during the preceding month in 18 locations was combined into four sites (neck, upper limbs, low back, lower limbs). Hazard ratios (HR) of DP were estimated by Cox regression. ResultsThe HR of any DP (n=477) was 1.6 (95% confidence interval 1.2-2.1) for one, 2.5 (1.9-3.3) for two, 3.1 (2.3-4.3) for three and 5.6 (4.0-7.8) for four pain sites, when adjusted for age and gender. When additionally adjusted for clinically assessed chronic diseases, the HRs varied from 1.4 (1.0-1.8) to 3.5 (2.5-4.9), respectively. When further adjusted for physical and psychosocial workload, education, body mass index, smoking, exercise and sleep disorders, the HRs were 1.3 (0.9-1.7), 1.6 (1.2-2.2), 1.8 (1.3-2.5) and 2.5 (1.8-3.6). The number of pain sites was especially strong in predicting DPs due to musculoskeletal diseases (HRs in the full model; 3.1 to 4.3), but it also predicted DPs due to other somatic diseases (respective HRs 1.3 to 2.3); pain in all four sites was also predictive of DPs due to mental disorders (full model HR 2.2). ConclusionsThe number of pain sites independently predicted DP retirement. Employees with multisite pain may need specific support to maintain their work ability.
  • Svärd, Anna; Lahti, Jouni; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero; Lallukka, Tea (2016)
    Background: Both obesity and mental health are major public health issues. This study aimed to examine whether overweight and obesity among midlife employees are associated with subsequent psychotropic medication. A further aim was to examine the potential effect of key covariates on the association. Methods: The Helsinki Health Study baseline survey was conducted in 2000-2002 among 40-60-year-old employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland (n = 8960). The participants were classified as of normal weight (18.5-24. 9 kg/m(2)), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m(2)), obese (30-34.9 kg/m(2)) or severely obese (>= 35 kg/m(2)) based on self-reported body mass index. Data on psychotropic medication purchases from baseline to 2009 were derived from registers of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The final analysis included 4760 women and 1338 men. Antidepressants and sedatives were examined separately. Covariates included socio-demographic factors, workload, health behaviours, physical functioning, somatic ill-health and psychotropic medication prior to baseline. Hazard ratios (HR) for the first psychotropic medication purchase were calculated using Cox regression analysis. Results: Third of women and quarter of men made at least one psychotropic medication purchase during the follow-up. Adjusting for age, obese (HR = 1.57; 95 % CI = 1.10-2.24) and severely obese (HR = 2.15; 95 % CI = 1.29-3. 56) men were at risk of having psychotropic medication compared to men of normal weight. These associations disappeared after further adjustment. Severe obesity remained associated with subsequent sedative medication among the men even after full adjustment (HR = 2.12; 95 % CI = 1.17-3.84). No associations were found among the women. Conclusions: Obese and severely obese men, but not women, were at risk of psychotropic medication. Further studies are needed to deepen understanding of the relationship between obesity and mental ill-health, and the possible protecting effects of age, employment, and living environment.
  • Pekurinen, Virve; Willman, Laura; Virtanen, Marianna; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Valimaki, Maritta (2017)
    Wellbeing of nurses is associated with patient aggression. Little is known about the differences in these associations between nurses working in different specialties. We aimed to estimate and compare the prevalence of patient aggression and the associations between patient aggression and the wellbeing of nurses in psychiatric and non-psychiatric specialties (medical and surgical, and emergency medicine). A sample of 5288 nurses (923 psychiatric nurses, 4070 medical and surgical nurses, 295 emergency nurses) participated in the study. Subjective measures were used to assess both the occurrence of patient aggression and the wellbeing of nurses (self-rated health, sleep disturbances, psychological distress and perceived work ability). Binary logistic regression with interaction terms was used to compare the associations between patient aggression and the wellbeing of nurses. Psychiatric nurses reported all types of patient aggression more frequently than medical and surgical nurses, whereas nurses working in emergency settings reported physical violence and verbal aggression more frequently than psychiatric nurses. Psychiatric nurses reported poor self-rated health and reduced work ability more frequently than both of the non-psychiatric nursing groups, whereas medical and surgical nurses reported psychological distress and sleep disturbances more often. Psychiatric nurses who had experienced at least one type of patient aggression or mental abuse in the previous year, were less likely to suffer from psychological distress and sleep disturbances compared to medical and surgical nurses. Psychiatric nurses who had experienced physical assaults and armed threats were less likely to suffer from sleep disturbances compared to nurses working in emergency settings. Compared to medical and surgical nurses, psychiatric nurses face patient aggression more often, but certain types of aggression are more common in emergency settings. Psychiatric nurses have worse subjective health and work ability than both of the non-psychiatric nursing groups, while their psychiatric wellbeing is better and they have less sleep problems compared to medical and surgical nurses. Psychiatric nurses maintain better psychiatric wellbeing and experience fewer sleep problems than non-psychiatric nurses after events of exposure to patient aggression. This suggest that more attention should be given to non-psychiatric settings for maintaining the wellbeing of nurses after exposure to patient aggression.
  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Mänty, Minna; Pietiläinen, Olli; Kujanpää, Tero; Kanerva, Noora; Lahti, Jouni; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lallukka, Tea (2020)
    Purpose Physical work exposures and common mental disorders (CMD) have been linked to increased risk of work disability, but their joint associations with disability retirement due to any cause, mental disorders or musculoskeletal diseases have not been examined. Methods The data for exposures and covariates were from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study occupational cohort surveys in 2000-2002, 2007 and 2012. We used 12,458 observations from 6159 employees, who were 40-60 years old at baseline. CMD were measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12, cut-off point 3+). Four self-reported work exposures (hazardous exposures, physical workload, computer and shift work) were combined with CMD and categorized as "neither", "work exposure only", "CMD only", and "both". Associations with register-based disability retirement were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models for sample survey data adjusting for confounders over 5-year follow-up. Additionally, synergy indices were calculated for the combined effects. Results Those reporting CMD and high physical workload had a greater risk of disability retirement due to any cause (HR 4.26, 95% CI 3.60-5.03), mental disorders (HR 5.41, 95% CI 3.87-7.56), and musculoskeletal diseases (HR 4.46, 95% CI 3.49-5.71) when compared to those with neither. Synergy indices indicated that these associations were synergistic. Similar associations were observed for CMD and hazardous exposures, but not for combined exposures to CMD and computer or shift work. Conclusions Identification of mental health problems among employees in physically demanding jobs is important to support work ability and reduce the risk of premature exit from work due to disability.
  • Ervasti, Jenni; Joensuu, Matti; Pentti, Jaana; Oksanen, Tuula; Ahola, Kirsi; Vahtera, Jussi; Kivimaki, Mika; Virtanen, Marianna (2017)
    Knowledge about factors influencing return to work (RTW) after depression-related absence is highly relevant, but the evidence is scattered. We performed a systematic search of PubMed and Embase databases up to February 1, 2016 to retrieve cohort studies on the association between various predictive factors and return to work among employees with depression for review and meta-analysis. We also analyzed unpublished data from the Finnish Public Sector study. Most-adjusted estimates were pooled using fixed effects meta-analysis. Eleven published studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria, representing 22 358 person-observations from five different countries. With the additional unpublished data from the 14 101 person-observations from the Finnish Public Sector study, the total number of person observations was 36 459. The pooled estimates were derived from 2 to 5 studies, with the number of observations ranging from 260 to 26 348. Older age (pooled relative risk [RR] 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84-0.87), somatic comorbidity (RR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.77-0.83), psychiatric comorbidity (RR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.83-0.88) and more severe depression (RR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.98) were associated with a lower rate of return to work, and personality trait conscientiousness with higher (RR = 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10) return to work. While older age and clinical factors predicted slower return, significant heterogeneity was observed between the studies. There is a dearth of observational studies on the predictors of RTW after depression. Future research should pay attention to quality aspects and particularly focus on the role of workplace and labor market factors as well as individual and clinical characteristics on RTW. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Päivärinne, Ville; Kautiainen, Hannu; Heinonen, Ari; Kiviranta, Ilkka (2019)
    Purpose Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is known to be associated with positive health benefits, but the role of occupational physical demands remains inconsistent. The purpose of the current study was to assess the relationship between LTPA and work ability in different occupational physical activity (OPA) levels between young adult men. Methods We performed physical activity measurements in work and leisure time with the long version of International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and work ability with the Work Ability Index (WAI) in 921 Finnish employed male volunteer participants. The participants were divided into LTPA tertiles I (<8 MET-h/week), II (8-28 MET-h/week), and III (> 28 MET-h/week) and OPA tertiles I (0 MET-h/week), II (<64 MET-h/week), and III (>= 64 MET-h/week). Results There was a significant relationship between LTPA and WAI in OPA tertiles (adjusted for age, alcohol consumption, working class status, BMI, and employment years). Moreover, each LTPA tertile showed significant linear associations with WAI (P <0.001). Conclusion LTPA is positively associated with work ability among young adult men. More specifically, the relationships between LTPA and WAI were significantly greater in physically demanding jobs than in more passive jobs. Our results indicate the importance of LTPA, particularly with individuals under higher work-related physical strain.
  • Mattila, Vesa Mikko; Wass, Hanna Maria; Lahtinen, Hannu Antero; Martikainen, Pekka Tapani (2018)
    Previous studies show that people with poor health have a lower propensity to vote. With individual-level register data on sickness allowance episodes and voting in three Finnish elections, we address the following questions: (1) What degree of sickness allowance days negatively influences turnout? (2) Are sickness absences on election day more harmful than absences that occur before the elections? (3) What is the effect of cumulative sickness allowance spells before the elections over a period of several years? We use a threefold categorisation approach, which differentiates between immediate, short-term and long-term health effects on voting. The results show that multiple sickness allowance spells over several years are more strongly connected to turnout than health problems experienced only in the year prior to the elections. Falling ill at the time of the elections had no consistent additional negative relationship with voting. We suggest that the demobilising effects of immediate health problems are associated with tangible factors, while long-term effects are related to lowered levels of political efficacy, interest and social connectedness.
  • Laukkala, Tanja; Heikinheimo, Susanne; Vuokko, Aki; Junttila, Ilkka S.; Tuisku, Katinka (2018)
    To evaluate the association between two measurement tools (Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale, SOFAS and Sheehan Disability Scale, SDS), returning to work (RTW) and their inter-correlation. 132 psychiatric patients referred to assessment of work ability participated. The association between SOFAS and SDS Work to RTW were assessed by logistic regression. Inter-correlations between SOFAS and SDS were assessed with the Spearman's rho correlation coefficient. SOFAS and SDS Work scores were associated with a 1-year RTW and SOFAS and SDS were inter-correlated. When assigning the ability to work, both subjective and objective measures of function predict RTW.
  • Laine, Hanna; Saastamoinen, Peppiina; Lahti, Jouni; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero (2014)
  • Roos, Eira; Lallukka, Tea; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2017)
    Background: Both smoking and obesity are separately associated with sickness absence. Unhealthy lifestyle habits and health conditions may occur concurrently yet studies focusing on their joint association are few. This study examined the joint associations of smoking and obesity with sickness absence (SA). Methods: A mail survey among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland, during 2000-2002 included data on obesity, smoking and covariates (N = 8960, response rate 67%, 80% women). These data were prospectively linked with register data on self-(1-3 days) and medically certified (4 days or longer) SA among those consenting to the linkage (n = 6986). Pregnant, underweight and those with missing data on key variables were excluded (n = 138). The total number of participants included in the analyses was 6847. The follow-up time was 5 years. Poisson regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RR). Results: Among women and men smoking and obesity were associated with self-certified SA. Among women there was a joint association with self-certified SA (obese smokers RR 1.81, 95% CI 1.59-2.07). Among women and men smoking and obesity were jointly associated with medically certified SA (for obese smoking women RR 2.23, 95% CI 1.93-2.57, for obese smoking men RR 2.69, 95% CI 2.03-3.55). Associations remained after adjustments for socioeconomic position, working conditions, health behaviours and self-rated health. Conclusion: Both smoking and obesity are jointly associated with all lengths of sickness absence. Support measures for smoking cessation and prevention of obesity could likely to reduce SA.
  • Honkonen, N.; Liira, J.; Lamminpaa, A.; Liira, H. (2018)
    Background Work ability meetings (WAMs) are planned discussions between an employee, a manager and an occupational physician (OP) to support work ability and return to work (RTW). During the last decade, WAMs become a popular intervention in Finnish occupational healthcare, although research on their content is lacking. Aims To describe the practice of WAMs in Finland. Methods We sent an internet survey by e-mail to members of the Finnish Society of Occupational Health Physicians in August 2014. We asked them to describe the last WAM they had attended, the employee the meeting concerned, the reason why it was convened, the content of the meeting and the action plan developed. Results A total of 303 of 1304 OPs responded (24%) to the survey. The meetings were most often arranged for employees in manual or clerical work (71%). There were several overlapping reasons for convening a WAM, including a worker's reduced work ability (57%), functional ability (42%) or long-term sickness absence (38%). The meetings consisted of RTW planning, clarification of the situation and a dialogue between the three parties. In half of the cases, the action plans dealt with modifications of work tasks. A third of cases were forwarded to vocational rehabilitation, while permanent disability pension was considered in 6% of cases. Conclusions The focus of WAMs was on workplace adjustments to support workers to remain at work. The WAMs dealt mostly with early interventions for RTW: work modifications, adjustments and vocational rehabilitation.
  • Lallukka, Tea; Kaila-Kangas, Leena; Mänty, Minna; Koskinen, Seppo; Haukka, Eija; Kausto, Johanna; Leino-Arjas, Päivi; Kaikkonen, Risto; Halonen, Jaana I.; Shiri, Rahman (2019)
    The contribution of physically demanding work to the developmental trajectories of sickness absence (SA) has seldom been examined. We analyzed the associations of 12 physical work exposures, individually and in combination, with SA trajectories among the occupationally active in the Finnish nationally representative Health 2000 survey. We included 3814 participants aged 30-59 years at baseline, when exposure history to work-related factors was reported. The survey and interview responses were linked with the annual number of medically confirmed SA spells through 2002-2008 from national registries. Trajectory analyses identified three SA subgroups: 1 = low (54.6%), 2 = slowly increasing (33.7%), and 3 = high (11.7%). After adjustments, sitting or use of keyboard >1 year was inversely associated with the high SA trajectory (odds ratio, OR, 0.57; 95% 95% confidence interval, CI, 0.43-0.77). The odds of belonging to the trajectory of high SA increased with an increasing number of risk factors, and was highest for those with >= 4 physical workload factors (OR 2.71; 95% CI 1.99-3.69). In conclusion, these findings highlight the need to find ways to better maintain the work ability of those in physically loading work, particularly when there occurs exposure to several workload factors.