Prediction of Long-Term Sickness Absence Among Employees with Depressive Complaints

M.A.S. Lexis, N.W.H. Jansen, L.G.P.M. van Amelsvoort, M.J.H. Huibers, A. Berkouwer, G. Tijn A Ton, P.A. van den Brandt, Y. Kant

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Abstract

Introduction To study the properties of a screening instrument in predicting long-term sickness absence among employees with depressive complaints. Methods Employees at high risk of future sickness absence were selected by the screening instrument Balansmeter (BM). Depressive complaints were assessed with the depression scale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The total study population consisted of 7,401 employees. Sickness absence was assessed objectively and analyzed at 12 and 18 months of follow-up using company registers on certified sick leave. Results The relative risk (RR) for long-term sickness absence, for employees at high risk versus not at high risk, was 3.26 (95% CI 2.54-4.22) in men and 2.55 (1.98-3.35) in women, when the BM was applied in the total study population. The RR of long-term sickness absence of employees with depressive complaints compared with employees without depressive complaints was 3.13 (2.41-4.09) in men and 2.45 (2.00-3.00) in women. The RR of long-term sickness absence for the BM applied in employees with depressive complaints was 5.23 in men and 3.87 in women. When the BM with a cut-off point with a higher sensitivity was applied in employees with depressive complaints, the RR for long-term sickness absence was 4.88 in men and 3.80 in women. Conclusions The screening instrument Balansmeter is able to predict long-term sickness absence within employees with depressive complaints. The total prediction of long-term sickness absence proved better in employees with depressive complaints compared with employees of a general working population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Prediction
  • Screening instrument
  • Sickness absence
  • Depressive complaints
  • Employees
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • COMMON MENTAL-DISORDERS
  • WORKING POPULATION
  • HOSPITAL ANXIETY
  • OFFICE WORKERS
  • HEALTH
  • SCALE
  • INTERVENTION
  • DURATION
  • SYMPTOMS

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