Browsing by Subject "Sickness absence"

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  • Kausto, Johanna; Oksanen, Tuula; Koskinen, Aki; Pentti, Jaana; Mattila-Holappa, Pauliina; Kaila-Kangas, Leena; Nevala, Nina; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Ervasti, Jenni (2021)
    Purpose Employers increasingly use 'return to work' (RTW) coordinators to support work ability and extend working careers, particularly among employees with reduced work ability. We examined whether applying this model was associated with changes in employee sickness absence and disability retirements. Methods We used data from the Finnish Public Sector study from 2009 until 2015. Employees where the model was introduced in 2012 constituted the cases (n = 4120, one municipality) and employees where the model was not in use during the follow-up, represented the controls (n = 5600, two municipalities). We analysed risk of disability retirement in 2013-2015 and risk of sickness absence after (2013-2015) vs. before (2009-2011) intervention by case-control status. Results The incidence of disability retirement after the intervention was lower in cases compared to controls both in the total population (hazard ratio HR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.30-0.79) and in the subgroup of participants with reduced work ability (HR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.12-0.99). The risk of sickness absence increased from pre-intervention to post-intervention period both among cases and controls although the relative increase was greater among cases (RRpost- vs. pre-intervention = 1.26, 95% CI 1.14-1.40) than controls (RRpost- vs. pre-intervention = 1.03, 95% CI 0.97-1.08). In the group of employees with reduced work ability, no difference in sickness absence trends between cases and controls was observed. Conclusions These findings suggest that RTW-coordinator model may increase employee sickness absence, but decrease the risk of disability retirement, i.e., permanent exclusion from the labour market.
  • Kaila-Kangas, Leena; Koskinen, Aki; Leino-Arjas, Päivi; Virtanen, Marianna; Härkänen, Tommi; Lallukka, Tea (2018)
    Background: Previous studies have not distinguished between different alcohol-use histories, which could have contributed to the current inconsistent evidence regarding the relationship between alcohol use and subsequent sickness absence. We thus examined alcohol use and subsequent diagnosis-specific sickness absence in groups with different levels of alcohol use, as well as in lifelong abstainers, former drinkers, and people with clinical alcohol use disorders. Methods: The data of the population-based Health 2000 Survey (BRIF8901) of 3666 Finns aged 30-55 were linked with national registers on medically certified sickness absences lasting for > 10 working days (long-term) for all causes (2000 -2010) and for mental or musculoskeletal disorders (2004-2010), as well as with registers on pensions and death (2000-2010). Alcohol use was assessed by questionnaire. Chronic somatic diseases were evaluated at baseline in a clinical examination, and common mental and alcohol use disorders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Cox regression analyses were conducted with censoring for death and retirement from work. Results: During an average 10-year follow-up, 56.0% of the participants had at least one long-term sickness absence period. Compared with light drinkers, those having an alcohol use disorder had increased risk of all-cause sickness absence (HR = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.04 - 1.54) and sickness absence due to mental disorders (HR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.39 - 3.35), when somatic and mental disorders as well as demographic, lifestyle-related and occupational factors at baseline were accounted for. Lifelong abstainers did not differ from light drinkers. Also high-volume drinking (HR = 1.52; 95% CI 1.03 - 2.25) and former drinking (HR = 1.57; 95% CI = 1.15 - 2.15) were associated with long-term sickness absence due to mental disorders. Alcohol use was not predictive of sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders. Conclusions: These results highlight the need to distinguish between former drinking and lifelong abstinence, as only former drinking was associated with sickness absence. Alcohol use disorder and high-volume drinking were strongly predictive of sickness absence due to mental disorders. Identifying people with excessive alcohol use e.g. in occupational health care, and mapping and supporting their mental health may help in preventing sickness absences.
  • 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.
  • Rantonen, J.; Karppinen, J.; Vehtari, A.; Luoto, S.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Hupli, M.; Malmivaara, A.; Taimela, S. (2016)
    Background: Evidence shows that low back specific patient information is effective in sub-acute low back pain (LBP), but effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (CE) of information in early phase symptoms is not clear. We assessed effectiveness and CE of patient information in mild LBP in the occupational health (OH) setting in a quasi-experimental study. Methods: A cohort of employees (N = 312, aged Results: Compared to NC, the Booklet reduced HC costs by 196(sic) and SA by 3.5 days per year. In 81 % of the bootstrapped cases the Booklet was both cost saving and effective on SA. Compared to NC, in the Combined arm, the figures were 107(sic), 0.4 days, and 54 %, respectively. PHI decreased in both interventions. Conclusions: Booklet information alone was cost-effective in comparison to natural course of mild LBP. Combined information reduced HC costs. Both interventions reduced physical impairment. Mere booklet information is beneficial for employees who report mild LBP in the OH setting, and is also cost saving for the health care system.
  • Rantonen, J.; Karppinen, J.; Vehtari, A.; Luoto, S.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Hupli, M.; Malmivaara, A.; Taimela, S. (2018)
    Background: We assessed the effectiveness of three interventions that were aimed to reduce non-acute low back pain (LBP) related symptoms in the occupational health setting. Methods: Based on a survey (n = 2480; response rate 71%) on LBP, we selected a cohort of 193 employees who reported moderate LBP (Visual Analogue Scale VAS > 34 mm) and fulfilled at least one of the following criteria during the past 12 months: sciatica, recurrence of LBP >= 2 times, LBP >= 2 weeks, or previous sickness absence. A random sample was extracted from the cohort as a control group (Control, n = 50), representing the natural course of LBP. The remaining 143 employees were invited to participate in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of three 1:1:1 allocated parallel intervention arms: multidisciplinary rehabilitation (Rehab, n = 43); progressive exercises (Physio, n = 43) and self-care advice (Advice, n = 40). Seventeen employees declined participation in the intervention. The primary outcome measures were physical impairment (PHI), LBP intensity (Visual Analogue Scale), health related quality of life (QoL), and accumulated sickness absence days. We imputed missing values with multiple imputation procedure. We assessed all comparisons between the intervention groups and the Control group by analysing questionnaire outcomes at 2 years with ANOVA and sickness absence at 4 years by using negative binomial model with a logarithmic link function. Results: Mean differences between the Rehab and Control groups were - 3 [95% CI -5 to - 1] for PHI, - 13 [- 24 to - 1] for pain intensity, and 0.06 [0.00 to 0.12] for QoL. Mean differences between the Physio and Control groups were - 3 [95% CI -5 to - 1] for PHI, -13 [- 29 to 2] for pain intensity, and 0.07 [0.01 to 0.13] for QoL. The main effects sizes were from 0.4 to 0.6. The interventions were not effective in reducing sickness absence. Conclusions: Rehab and Physio interventions improved health related quality of life, decreased low back pain and physical impairment in non-acute, moderate LBP, but we found no differences between the Advice and Control group results. No effectiveness on sickness absence was observed.
  • Rantonen, J.; Karppinen, J.; Vehtari, A.; Luoto, S.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Hupli, M.; Malmivaara, A.; Taimela, S. (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background We assessed the effectiveness of three interventions that were aimed to reduce non-acute low back pain (LBP) related symptoms in the occupational health setting. Methods Based on a survey (n = 2480; response rate 71%) on LBP, we selected a cohort of 193 employees who reported moderate LBP (Visual Analogue Scale VAS > 34 mm) and fulfilled at least one of the following criteria during the past 12 months: sciatica, recurrence of LBP ≥ 2 times, LBP ≥ 2 weeks, or previous sickness absence. A random sample was extracted from the cohort as a control group (Control, n = 50), representing the natural course of LBP. The remaining 143 employees were invited to participate in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of three 1:1:1 allocated parallel intervention arms: multidisciplinary rehabilitation (Rehab, n = 43); progressive exercises (Physio, n = 43) and self-care advice (Advice, n = 40). Seventeen employees declined participation in the intervention. The primary outcome measures were physical impairment (PHI), LBP intensity (Visual Analogue Scale), health related quality of life (QoL), and accumulated sickness absence days. We imputed missing values with multiple imputation procedure. We assessed all comparisons between the intervention groups and the Control group by analysing questionnaire outcomes at 2 years with ANOVA and sickness absence at 4 years by using negative binomial model with a logarithmic link function. Results Mean differences between the Rehab and Control groups were − 3 [95% CI -5 to − 1] for PHI, − 13 [− 24 to − 1] for pain intensity, and 0.06 [0.00 to 0.12] for QoL. Mean differences between the Physio and Control groups were − 3 [95% CI -5 to − 1] for PHI, − 13 [− 29 to 2] for pain intensity, and 0.07 [0.01 to 0.13] for QoL. The main effects sizes were from 0.4 to 0.6. The interventions were not effective in reducing sickness absence. Conclusions Rehab and Physio interventions improved health related quality of life, decreased low back pain and physical impairment in non-acute, moderate LBP, but we found no differences between the Advice and Control group results. No effectiveness on sickness absence was observed. Trial registration Number NCT00908102 Clinicaltrials.gov
  • Sumanen, Hilla; Pietilainen, Olli; Lahti, Jouni; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2015)
    Background: A low socioeconomic position (SEP) is consistently associated with ill health, sickness absence (SA) and permanent disability, but studies among young employees are lacking. We examined the interrelationships between education, occupational class and income as determinants of SA among 25-34-year-old employees. We also examined, whether the association between SEP and SA varied over time in 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. Methods: The analyses covered young, 25-34-year-old women and men employed by the City of Helsinki over the time periods 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. Four-level education and occupational class classifications were used, as well as income quartiles. The outcome measure was the number of annual SA days. Results: Education had the strongest and most consistent independent association with SA among women and men in both periods under study. Occupational class had weaker independent and less consistent association with SA. Income had an independent association with SA, which strengthened over time among the men. The interrelationships between the SEP indicators and SA were partly explained by prior or mediated through subsequent SEP indicators. Socioeconomic differences followed only partially a gradient for occupational class and also for income among men. Conclusions: Preventive measures to reduce the risk of SA should be considered, especially among young employees with a basic or lower-secondary education.
  • Peutere, Laura; Rosenstrom, Tom; Koskinen, Aki; Härmä, Mikko; Kivimaki, Mika; Virtanen, Marianna; Ervasti, Jenni; Ropponen, Annina (2021)
    Background There is inconsistent evidence that long working hours and night work are risk factors for sickness absence, but few studies have considered variation in the length of exposure time window as a potential source of mixed findings. We examined whether the association of long working hours and night work with sickness absence is dependent on the length of exposure to the working hour characteristics. Methods We analysed records of working hours, night work and sickness absence for a cohort of 9226 employees in one hospital district in Finland between 2008 and 2019. The exposure time windows ranged from 10 to 180 days, and we used Cox's proportional hazards models with time-dependent exposures to analyse the associations between working-hour characteristics and subsequent sickness absence. Results Longer working hours for a period of 10 to 30 days was not associated with the risk of sickness absence whereas longer working hours for a period of 40 to 180 days was associated with a lower risk of sickness absence. Irrespective of exposure time window, night work was not associated with sickness absence. Conclusions It is important to consider the length of exposure time window when examining associations between long working hours and sickness absence, whereas the association between night work and sickness absence is not similarly sensitive to exposure times.
  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Koskinen, Aki; Varje, Pekka; Kouvonen, Anne; Hakanen, Jari J.; Väänänen, Ari (2018)
    Background: We defined gender-specific profiles of mental ill-health for the main occupational groups using three outcomes; antidepressant use, sickness absence (SA) due to depression, and suicides. We also examined which occupational groups had the highest risk of the outcomes, and compared the importance of their predictors. Methods: From a random register cohort of Finnish working age population, individuals in the six largest occupational groups in 2004 for men and women were included (N = 414 357). We used register data to define the first antidepressant purchase (i.e. use), the first long-term SA spell for depression, and suicide between Jan 1st 2005 and Dec 31st 2014. We assessed the risk of each outcome by occupational group with logistic regression models, and used dominance analysis to compare the relative importance of predictors. Results: In all six occupational groups for women, the prevalence of antidepressant use and SA for depression was higher than in the men's occupational groups. The opposite was observed for suicides. The risk of antidepressant use was lower, but the risk of suicide was 2-times higher among men in low vs. high-skilled occupations. Among women, a lower skill-level was associated with a higher risk of SA due to depression. Gender was the most important predictor of all outcomes. Limitations: We lacked information on history of medication use or health problems prior to follow-up. Conclusions: Gendered occupational status was an underlying factor explaining distinctive mental health profiles in the working population. Occupational class-dependent behavioural patterns related to mental health existed among men.
  • Pekkala, Johanna; Blomgren, Jenni; Pietilainen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2017)
    Background: Musculoskeletal diseases and mental disorders are major causes of long-term sickness absence in Western countries. Although sickness absence is generally more common in lower occupational classes, little is known about class differences in diagnostic-specific absence over time. Focusing on Finland during 2005-2014, we therefore set out to examine the magnitude of and changes in absolute and relative occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence due to major diagnostic causes. Methods: A 70-per-cent random sample of Finns aged 25-64 linked to register data on medically certified sickness absence (of over 10 working days) in 2005-2014 was retrieved from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Information on occupational class was obtained from Statistics Finland and linked to the data. The study focused on female (n = 658,148-694,142) and male (n = 604,715-642,922) upper and lower non-manual employees and manual workers. The age-standardised prevalence, the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were calculated for each study year to facilitate examination of the class differences. Results: The prevalence of each diagnostic cause of sickness absence declined during the study period, the most common causes being musculoskeletal diseases, mental disorders and injuries. The prevalence of other causes under scrutiny was less than 1 % annually. By far the largest absolute and relative differences were in musculoskeletal diseases among both women and men. Moreover, the absolute differences in both genders (p <0. 0001) and the relative differences in men (p <0.0001) narrowed over time as the prevalence declined most among manual workers. Both genders showed modest and stable occupational class differences in mental disorders. In the case of injuries, no major changes occurred in absolute differences but relative differences narrowed over time in men (p <0.0001) due to a strong decline in prevalence among manual workers. Class differences in the other studied diagnostic causes under scrutiny appeared negligible. Conclusions: By far the largest occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence concerned musculoskeletal diseases, followed by injuries. The results highlight potential targets for preventive measures aimed at reducing sickness absence and narrowing class differences in the future.
  • Pekkala, Johanna; Blomgren, Jenni; Pietiläinen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Musculoskeletal diseases and mental disorders are major causes of long-term sickness absence in Western countries. Although sickness absence is generally more common in lower occupational classes, little is known about class differences in diagnostic-specific absence over time. Focusing on Finland during 2005–2014, we therefore set out to examine the magnitude of and changes in absolute and relative occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence due to major diagnostic causes. Methods A 70-per-cent random sample of Finns aged 25–64 linked to register data on medically certified sickness absence (of over 10 working days) in 2005–2014 was retrieved from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Information on occupational class was obtained from Statistics Finland and linked to the data. The study focused on female (n = 658,148–694,142) and male (n = 604,715–642,922) upper and lower non-manual employees and manual workers. The age-standardised prevalence, the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were calculated for each study year to facilitate examination of the class differences. Results The prevalence of each diagnostic cause of sickness absence declined during the study period, the most common causes being musculoskeletal diseases, mental disorders and injuries. The prevalence of other causes under scrutiny was less than 1 % annually. By far the largest absolute and relative differences were in musculoskeletal diseases among both women and men. Moreover, the absolute differences in both genders (p < 0.0001) and the relative differences in men (p < 0.0001) narrowed over time as the prevalence declined most among manual workers. Both genders showed modest and stable occupational class differences in mental disorders. In the case of injuries, no major changes occurred in absolute differences but relative differences narrowed over time in men (p < 0.0001) due to a strong decline in prevalence among manual workers. Class differences in the other studied diagnostic causes under scrutiny appeared negligible. Conclusions By far the largest occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence concerned musculoskeletal diseases, followed by injuries. The results highlight potential targets for preventive measures aimed at reducing sickness absence and narrowing class differences in the future.
  • Mänty, Minna; Lallukka, Tea; Lahti, Jouni; Pietilainen, Olli; Laaksonen, Mikko; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2017)
    Background: Sickness absence has been shown to be a risk marker for severe future health outcomes, such as disability retirement and premature death. However, it is poorly understood how all-cause and diagnosis-specific sickness absence is reflected in subsequent physical and mental health functioning over time. The aim of this study was to examine the association of all-cause and diagnosis-specific sickness absence with subsequent changes in physical and mental health functioning among ageing municipal employees. Methods: Prospective survey and register data from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland were used. Register based records for medically certified all-cause and diagnostic-specific sickness absence spells (> 14 consecutive calendar days) in 2004-2007 were examined in relation to subsequent physical and mental health functioning measured by Short-Form 36 questionnaire in 2007 and 2012. In total, 3079 respondents who were continuously employed over the sickness absence follow-up were included in the analyses. Repeated-measures analysis was used to examine the associations. Results: During the 3-year follow-up, 30% of the participants had at least one spell of medically certified sickness absence. All-cause sickness absence was associated with lower subsequent physical and mental health functioning in a stepwise manner: the more absence days, the poorer the subsequent physical and mental health functioning. These differences remained but narrowed slightly during the follow-up. Furthermore, the adverse association for physical health functioning was strongest among those with sickness absence due to diseases of musculoskeletal or respiratory systems, and on mental functioning among those with sickness absence due to mental disorders. Conclusions: Sickness absence showed a persistent adverse stepwise association with subsequent physical and mental health functioning. Evidence on health-related outcomes after long-term sickness absence may provide useful information for targeted interventions to promote health and workability.
  • Mänty, Minna; Lallukka, Tea; Lahti, Jouni; Pietiläinen, Olli; Laaksonen, Mikko; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Sickness absence has been shown to be a risk marker for severe future health outcomes, such as disability retirement and premature death. However, it is poorly understood how all-cause and diagnosis-specific sickness absence is reflected in subsequent physical and mental health functioning over time. The aim of this study was to examine the association of all-cause and diagnosis-specific sickness absence with subsequent changes in physical and mental health functioning among ageing municipal employees. Methods Prospective survey and register data from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland were used. Register based records for medically certified all-cause and diagnostic-specific sickness absence spells (>14 consecutive calendar days) in 2004–2007 were examined in relation to subsequent physical and mental health functioning measured by Short-Form 36 questionnaire in 2007 and 2012. In total, 3079 respondents who were continuously employed over the sickness absence follow-up were included in the analyses. Repeated-measures analysis was used to examine the associations. Results During the 3-year follow-up, 30% of the participants had at least one spell of medically certified sickness absence. All-cause sickness absence was associated with lower subsequent physical and mental health functioning in a stepwise manner: the more absence days, the poorer the subsequent physical and mental health functioning. These differences remained but narrowed slightly during the follow-up. Furthermore, the adverse association for physical health functioning was strongest among those with sickness absence due to diseases of musculoskeletal or respiratory systems, and on mental functioning among those with sickness absence due to mental disorders. Conclusions Sickness absence showed a persistent adverse stepwise association with subsequent physical and mental health functioning. Evidence on health-related outcomes after long-term sickness absence may provide useful information for targeted interventions to promote health and workability.
  • 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.
  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Hiilamo, Aapo; Butterworth, Peter; Wooden, Mark; Ervasti, Jenni; Virtanen, Marianna; Sivertsen, Borge; Aalto, Ville; Oksanen, Tuula; Kivimäki, Mika; Lallukka, Tea (2020)
    Background: Uncertainty remains whether associations for psychological distress and sickness absence (SA) observed between and within individuals differ, and whether age, gender and work-related factors moderate these associations. Methods: We analyzed SA records of 41,184 participants of the Finnish Public Sector study with repeated survey data between 2000 and 2016 (119,024 observations). Psychological distress was measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), while data on SA days were from the employers' registers. We used a hybrid regression estimation approach adjusting for time-variant confounders-age, marital status, occupational class, body mass index, job contract type, months worked in the follow-up year, job demand, job control, and workplace social capital-and time-invariant gender (for between-individual analysis). Results: Higher levels of psychological distress were consistently associated with SA, both within- and between-individuals. The within-individual association (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.68, 95% CI 1.61-1.75 for SA at high distress), however, was substantially smaller than the between-individual association (IRR 2.53, 95% CI 2.39-2.69). High levels of psychological distress had slightly stronger within-individual associations with SA among older (>45 years) than younger employees, lower than higher occupational class, and among men than women. None of the assessed work unit related factors (e.g. job demand, job control) were consistent moderators. Limitations: These findings may not be generalizable to other working sectors or cultures with different SA policies or study populations that are male dominated. Conclusions: Focus on within-individual variation over time provides more accurate estimates of the contribution of mental health to subsequent sickness absence.
  • Lallukka, Tea; Kronholm, Erkki; Pekkala, Johanna; Jäppinen, Sauli; Blomgren, Jenni; Pietiläinen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2019)
    Background: Early exit from paid employment is a notable public health and societal challenge. Previous research has largely focused on the relationships among variables instead of the relationships among individuals with different work participation history. Person-oriented methods enable to identify latent groups of individuals who are likely to follow similar development in their work participation over time. We thus aimed to identify work participation trajectories during early and midlife careers and their social determinants using large nationally representative data comprising over 1 million initially employed individuals and a 10-year follow-up for their work participation. A further aim was to determine the cumulative incidence of sickness absence due to key diagnostic groups, mental disorders and musculoskeletal diseases within the trajectories. Methods: Young (25-38 years at baseline, n = 495,663) and midlife (39-52 years at baseline, n = 603,085) Finnish people, all working in 2004, were followed up through 2013, with registers of the Social Insurance Institution, and the Statistics Finland. The registers provided data for work participation and its determinants, as well as for computing the cumulative incidence of sickness absence. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify trajectories. Results: Three distinctive trajectories were identified: temporary exit, permanent exit, and continuously employed people. As compared to the other trajectories, those belonging to the permanent exit trajectory were more likely men, manual workers and had a lower income. The cumulative incidence of sickness absence due to mental disorders was highest in the permanent exit trajectory group. For musculoskeletal diseases, the cumulative incidence of sickness absence increased in the permanent exit trajectory mainly in the older age groups. Conclusion: Distinct group-based trajectories of early work exit can be identified in a representative cohort of initially employed people. Focusing on the determinants of premature exit and early intervention to tackle increasing sickness absence may promote work participation particularly in the most vulnerable groups.
  • Lallukka, Tea; Kronholm, Erkki; Pekkala, Johanna; Jäppinen, Sauli; Blomgren, Jenni; Pietiläinen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Early exit from paid employment is a notable public health and societal challenge. Previous research has largely focused on the relationships among variables instead of the relationships among individuals with different work participation history. Person-oriented methods enable to identify latent groups of individuals who are likely to follow similar development in their work participation over time. We thus aimed to identify work participation trajectories during early and midlife careers and their social determinants using large nationally representative data comprising over 1 million initially employed individuals and a 10-year follow-up for their work participation. A further aim was to determine the cumulative incidence of sickness absence due to key diagnostic groups, mental disorders and musculoskeletal diseases within the trajectories. Methods Young (25–38 years at baseline, n = 495,663) and midlife (39–52 years at baseline, n = 603,085) Finnish people, all working in 2004, were followed up through 2013, with registers of the Social Insurance Institution, and the Statistics Finland. The registers provided data for work participation and its determinants, as well as for computing the cumulative incidence of sickness absence. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify trajectories. Results Three distinctive trajectories were identified: temporary exit, permanent exit, and continuously employed people. As compared to the other trajectories, those belonging to the permanent exit trajectory were more likely men, manual workers and had a lower income. The cumulative incidence of sickness absence due to mental disorders was highest in the permanent exit trajectory group. For musculoskeletal diseases, the cumulative incidence of sickness absence increased in the permanent exit trajectory mainly in the older age groups. Conclusion Distinct group-based trajectories of early work exit can be identified in a representative cohort of initially employed people. Focusing on the determinants of premature exit and early intervention to tackle increasing sickness absence may promote work participation particularly in the most vulnerable groups.