We aimed to identify common elements in work sickness absence (SA) in Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands. We estimated basic statistics on benefits eligibility, SA incidence and duration and distribution by major diagnostics. The three countries offer SA benefits for at least 12 months and wage replacement, differing in who and when the payer assumes responsibility; the national health systems provide health care with participation from occupational health services. Episodes per 1000 salaried workers and episode duration varied by country; their distribution by diagnostic was similar. Basic and useful SA indicators can be constructed to facilitate cross-country comparisons.
To examine whether the association between psychosocial factors at work and incident coronary heart disease (CHD) is explained by pre-employment factors, such as family history of CHD, education, paternal education and social class, number of siblings and height.
A prospective cohort study of 6435 British men aged 35-55 years at phase 1 (1985-1988) and free from prevalent CHD at phase 2 (1989-1990) was conducted. Psychosocial factors at work were assessed at phases 1 and 2 and mean scores across the two phases were used to determine long-term exposure. Selected pre-employment factors were assessed at phase 1. Follow-up for coronary death, first non-fatal myocardial infarction or definite angina between phase 2 and 1999 was based on clinical records (250 events, follow-up 8.7 years).
The selected pre-employment factors were associated with risk for CHD: HRs (95% CI) were 1.33 (1.03 to 1.73) for family history of CHD, 1.18 (1.05 to 1.32) for each quartile decrease in height and 1.16 (0.99 to 1.35) for each category increase in number of siblings. Psychosocial work factors also predicted CHD: 1.72 (1.08 to 2.74) for low job control and 1.72 (1.10 to 2.67) for low organisational justice. Adjustment for pre-employment factors changed these associations by 4.1% or less.
In this occupational cohort of British men, the association between psychosocial factors at work and CHD was largely independent of family history of CHD, education, paternal educational attainment and social class, number of siblings and height.
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Psychological factors may be important determinants of adherence to antihypertensive medication, as they have been repeatedly found to be associated with an increased risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and health-damaging behaviours. We examined the importance of several psychological attributes (sense of coherence, optimism, pessimism, hostility, anxiety) with regard to antihypertensive medication adherence assessed by pharmacy refill records.
A total of 1021 hypertensive participants, aged 26-63 years, who were employees in eight towns and 12 hospitals in Finland were included in the analyses.
We found 60% of patients to be totally adherent, 36% partially adherent, and 4% totally nonadherent. Multinomial regression analyses revealed high sense of coherence to be associated with lower odds of being totally nonadherent in contrast of being totally adherent (odds ratio=0.55; 95% confidence interval: 0.31-0.96). This association was independent of factors that influenced adherence to antihypertensive medication, such as sociodemographic characteristics, health-related behaviours, self-reported medical history of doctor-diagnosed comorbidity, and anteriority of hypertension status. The association was not specific to certain types of antihypertensive drugs.
High sense of coherence may influence antihypertensive medication-adherence behaviour. Aspects characterizing this psychological attribute, such as knowledge (comprehensibility), capacity (manageability), and motivation (meaningfulness) may be important determinants of adherence behaviour for asymptomatic illnesses, such as hypertension, in which patients often do not feel or perceive the immediate consequences of skipping medication doses.
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BACKGROUND: Previous studies report contradictory findings regarding health effects of retirement. This study examines longitudinally the associations of retirement with mental health and physical functioning. METHODS: The participants were 7584 civil servants from the Whitehall II cohort study aged 39-64 years at baseline and 54-76 years at the last follow-up. Self-reported mental health and physical functioning were assessed using the Short Form Medical Outcomes Survey questionnaire, and the scales were scored as T-scores (mean [SD] = 50 ). Retirement status and health were assessed with 6 repeated measurements over a 15-year period. RESULTS: The associations between retirement and health were dependent on age at retirement, reason for retirement, and length of time spent in retirement. Compared with continued employment, statutory retirement at age 60 and early voluntary retirement, respectively, were associated with 2.2 (95% confidence interval = 1.7 to 2.8) and 2.2 (1.7 to 2.7) points higher mental health and with 1.0 (0.6 to 1.5) and 1.1 (0.8 to 1.4) points higher physical functioning. Retirement due to ill health was associated with poorer mental health (-0.7 points [-1.62 to 0.2]) and physical functioning (-4.5 points [-5.1 to -3.9]). Within-subject analyses suggested a causal interpretation for statutory and voluntary retirement, but health selection for retirement due to ill health. CONCLUSIONS: Longitudinal analyses of repeat data suggest that health status improves after statutory and voluntarily retirement, although the improvement seems to attenuate over time. By contrast, the association between retirement due to ill health and subsequent poor health seems to reflect selection rather than causation.
Personality influences an individual's adaptation to a specific job or organization. Little is known about personality trait differences between medical career and specialty choices after graduating from medical school when actually practicing different medical specialties. Moreover, whether personality traits contribute to important career choices such as choosing to work in the private or public sector or with clinical patient contact, as well as change of specialty, have remained largely unexplored. In a nationally representative sample of Finnish physicians (N?=?2837) we examined how personality traits are associated with medical career choices after graduating from medical school, in terms of employment sector, patient contact, medical specialty and change of specialty.
Personality was assessed using the shortened version of the Big Five Inventory (S-BFI). An analysis of covariance with posthoc tests for pairwise comparisons was conducted, adjusted for gender and age with confounders (employment sector, clinical patient contact and medical specialty).
Higher openness was associated with working in the private sector, specializing in psychiatry, changing specialty and not practicing with patients. Lower openness was associated with a high amount of patient contact and specializing in general practice as well as ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology. Higher conscientiousness was associated with a high amount of patient contact and specializing in surgery and other internal medicine specialties. Lower conscientiousness was associated with specializing in psychiatry and hospital service specialties. Higher agreeableness was associated with working in the private sector and specializing in general practice and occupational health. Lower agreeableness and neuroticism were associated with specializing in surgery. Higher extraversion was associated with specializing in pediatrics and change of specialty. Lower extraversion was associated with not practicing with patients.
The results showed distinctive personality traits to be associated with physicians' career and specialty choices after medical school independent of known confounding factors. Openness was the most consistent personality trait associated with physicians' career choices in terms of employment sector, amount of clinical patient contact, specialty choice and change of specialty. Personality-conscious medical career counseling and career guidance during and after medical education might enhance the person-job fit among physicians.
Cites: Med Teach. 2013 Jul;35(7):e1267-301 PMID 23614402
The excess risk of fatal and non-fatal cerebrovascular disease in people from low socioeconomic positions is only partially explained by conventional cerebrovascular risk factors. This has led to the suggestion that poor psychosocial work environments provide important additional explanatory power. However, little evidence is available for women.
We examined whether job demands or job control contributed to the socioeconomic gradient in cerebrovascular disease among 48 361 women aged 18-65 years. Job demands, job control and behavioural risk factors were self-reported in 2000-2002; socioeconomic position (as indexed by occupational class) and all of the health measures were obtained from registers. The outcome was recorded hospitalization or death from cerebrovascular disease.
During a mean follow-up of 3.4 years, 124 women had a new cerebrovascular disease event. The risk was 2.3 (95% CI 1.3-3.9) times higher among women in low vs high socioeconomic positions. Adjustment for conventional risk factors, such as prevalent hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity, attenuated this excess risk by 23%. In contrast, adjustment for job demands and job control actually amplified the gradient by 36% suggesting a suppression effect.
In this contemporary cohort of employed women, job demands-alone and in combination with job control-suppressed rather than explained socioeconomic differences in cerebrovascular disease.