Subjective cognitive complaints and permanent work disability : a prospective cohort study

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Pihlajamäki , M , Arola , H , Ahveninen , H , Ollikainen , J , Korhonen , M , Nummi , T , Uitti , J & Taimela , S 2021 , ' Subjective cognitive complaints and permanent work disability : a prospective cohort study ' , International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health , vol. 94 , no. 5 , pp. 901-910 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-020-01643-1

Title: Subjective cognitive complaints and permanent work disability : a prospective cohort study
Author: Pihlajamäki, Minna; Arola, Heikki; Ahveninen, Heini; Ollikainen, Jyrki; Korhonen, Mikko; Nummi, Tapio; Uitti, Jukka; Taimela, Simo
Contributor organization: Department of Surgery
HUS Musculoskeletal and Plastic Surgery
FICEBO
I kirurgian klinikka (Töölö)
University of Helsinki
Date: 2021-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
ISSN: 0340-0131
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-020-01643-1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/340109
Abstract: Purpose Work disability (WD) is a medico-legal concept that refers to disability benefits (DB) granted due to diseases. We assessed whether subjective cognitive complaints (SCC)-presenting as self-rated difficulties of concentration, memory, clear thinking, and decision making-predict permanent WD in knowledge-intensive occupations. Methods In this prospective cohort study with up to 7-year follow-up, we combined the SCC questionnaire results with reliable registry data on the DBs of 7161 professional/managerial employees (46% females). We excluded employees who were on long-term sickness absence (SA) or had received a DB at baseline. The exposure variable was the presence of SCC. Age and SA before the questionnaire as a proxy measure of general health were treated as confounders and the analyses were conducted by gender. The outcome variable was a granted DB. The cumulative incidence function illustrates the difference between SCC categories, and the Fine-Gray model estimates the predictors of WD during the 8-year follow-up. Results The annual incidence of DB was 0.15% in the entire cohort: 0.18% among the females, and 0.12% among the males (p = 0.795). The most common primary reasons for permanent WD were mental (36%) and musculoskeletal (20%) disorders. SCC predicted DB in both genders when controlling for age and prior SA. Hazard ratios were 2.9 with a 95% confidence interval 1.4-6.0 for the females and 3.7 (1.8-7.9) for the males. Conclusion Subjective cognitive complaints predict permanent WD in knowledge-intensive occupations. This finding has implications for supporting work ability and preventing work disability among employees with cognitively demanding tasks.
Subject: Occupational health care
Self-reported data
Disability retirement
Register data
Subjective cognitive complaints
Fine-Gray model
Cumulative incidence function
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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