Several methodological aspects concerning research on sickness absence and disability pension are noteworthy, including: empirical research is being conducted within many different disciplines using various study designs; progress in theory development has been slow and weak; several outcome measures are used; terminology varies widely; and comparative research is difficult to conduct since insurance systems differ over time and among nations and employers.
Functional, interactive and critical skills to use and act on health information, i.e. health literacy, are central preconditions for decision-making. To construct a decision aid that strengthens women's abilities to make decisions during sick leave, knowledge is needed about factors that increase health literacy. The aim of this study was for that reason to explore and describe women's experiences of factors that contribute to their ability to make informed decisions about the process of rehabilitation and return to work.
Nineteen women with a period of sick leave during the previous 12 months participated.
A qualitative design with a focus group methodology was used. The qualitative data analysis was based on five focus group discussions.
A number of factors emerged that were experienced as supporting. They were distributed over five qualitative categories. Trusting in, valuing and using one's own resources, taking the initiative and obtaining information were described as crucial to making well-founded decisions. Being coached by a professional or being supported by significant others were other factors that contributed to decision-making. The women also experienced that a trustful, transparent, continuous relationship with the professionals involved in the rehabilitation process contributed to well-founded decisions.
The factors experienced as contributing to sick-listed women's ability to make informed decisions were both personal and environmental. Some have a connection with theories that conceptualize intentional relationships and self-efficacy. The factors may be useful as an initial source for the development of a decision aid for women.
AIM: The aim of this study was to analyse in women the association between four dimensions of gender identity, heavy episodic drinking (HED) and alcohol use disorders (AUD), taking into account age, personality, psychiatric co-morbidity and level of education. METHODS: An initial screening of alcohol consumption was followed by a structured psychiatric interview in a sample of women drawn from the Gothenburg population and women attending primary care, maternity and hospital services (n = 930). Gender identity was assessed using the Masculinity-Femininity Questionnaire (M/F-Q) (items grouped into four dimensions: leadership, caring, self-assertiveness and emotionality). The Karolinska Scale of Personality was administered. Clinical psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM were made in face-to-face interviews. HED was defined as consumption of at least 60 g of ethanol on a single day at least once a month. RESULTS: Women who scored low on the leadership dimension were twice as likely to have AUD [age-adjusted odds1.98 (95% confidence interval 1.30-3.01)] compared to those with medium scores. These odds ratios were significant after adjustment for personality [2.21 (1.35-3.63)], psychiatric disorders [2.09 (1.25-3.47)] and level of education [1.95 (1.17-3.26)]. Low scores on the leadership dimension were associated with HED [1.55 (0.98-2.44)] after adjustment for age, personality, psychiatric disorders and level of education. High scores on leadership were not significantly associated with AUD or HED after these adjustments. The odds ratios for those who scored low on caring were non-significant throughout the analyses of associations with both AUD and HED. A similar pattern was found for the self-assertiveness dimension. Low emotionality was associated with decreased odds for AUD [0.42 (0.25-0.70)] and HED [0.66 (0.44-0.99)], and increased odds for AUD [2.14 (1.38-3.31)] and HED [2.33 (1.58-3.44)], after adjusting for age. These associations became non-significant after adjustment for personality and remained so after psychiatric disorders and level of education were added to the models. CONCLUSION: Of the four gender identity dimensions, only low scores on leadership remained significantly associated with AUD and HED after adjustment for age and personality. Clinical work could focus on the development of leadership abilities in women scoring low on these items to improve the ability.
To investigate the association between organizational climate and work commitment, and sickness absence in a general population of workers and consecutively selected employed sick-listed.
Questionnaire data used in this cross-sectional study consisted of two cohorts: (1) randomly selected individuals in a general working population cohort (2763) and (2) consecutively selected employed sick-listed cohort (3044) for more than 14 days over 2 months.
Poor organizational climate was associated with increased odds of belonging to the employed sick-listed cohort among both women and men, while high work commitments were associated with increased odds only among women. The increased adjusted odds ratio for the combinations of poor organizational climate and high work commitment was 1.80 (confidence interval 1.36 to 2.37) among women and 2.74 (confidence interval 1.84 to 4.08) among men.
These results support the magnitude of combining organizational climate and work commitment.
AIM: A study was undertaken to ascertain whether the differences in risk in relation to gender and citizenship observed in a previous study of the same cohort would remain if more recent data on sickness absence were used. METHODS: This was an 11-year prospective population-based cohort study. The dataset includes all individuals in a Swedish city who, in 1985, were aged 25-34 and had a sick-leave spell > or = 28 days with neck, shoulder, or back diagnoses (n=213). The data covered the following: for 1985-96, disability pension, emigration, and death; for 1982-96, sickness absence; for 1985, sex and citizenship. The data were subjected to Cox regression analyses with a time-dependent covariate. RESULTS: Disability pension was granted to 22% (n=46) of the cohort. The relative risk for disability pension increased by 9.3 with each sick-leave spell > or = 90 days during the two previous years. The risk was higher for women than men, and also higher for foreign citizens than Swedes. CONCLUSION: Many studies have revealed a gender difference in the risk of being on disability pension, and it was found that this difference was still apparent when sick leave during the follow-up period is taken into account. Thus, the reason for the gender differences ought to be found among other factors than prior levels of sickness absence.
BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal disorders represent a considerable public health problem and the most common diagnoses behind sickness absence and disability pensions. However, little is known about how sickness absence with these diagnoses varies with the strong gender segregation of the labour market. AIMS: A study was undertaken to investigate the association between musculoskeletal-related sickness absence and occupational gender segregation. METHODS: The study was population based, and included all new sick-leave spells exceeding seven days due to musculoskeletal diagnoses, comprising neckl shoulder pain, low back pain, and osteoarthritis in Osterg?tland county, Sweden, which has 393,000 inhabitants (5%, of the national population). The participants were all sick-leave insured employed persons in Osterg?tland (n = 182,663) in 1985. RESULTS: Cumulative incidence of musculoskeletal-related sickness absence (>7 days) was higher for women (7.5%, 95% confidence interval [C.I.] 7.3-7.7) than for men, (5.8%, C.I. 5.6-5.9), and the same was true for the mean number of sick-leave days (women 81, C.I. 78-83; men 65, C.I. 63-68). Grouping occupations according to degree of numerical gender segregation revealed the highest incidence and duration of sickness absence for women in male-dominated occupations. For both genders, the lowest cumulative incidence and duration occurred in gender-integrated occupations. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate a strong association between occupational gender segregation and musculoskeletal-related sickness absence. Further studies are needed to elucidate gender segregation of the labour market in relation to health and rehabilitation measures.
OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to establish the level of perceived sexual and gender-related harassment in undergraduate and doctoral studies, in which environment the events occurred, which categories of persons had committed the harassment, and other aspects of sexual harassment at the Faculty of Medicine, Gothenburg University. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to all registered male and female undergraduate students (n= 605) and doctoral students (n=743) by mail to their home addresses. RESULTS: The response rate was 62% (840/1348). Of the total study population, 59% (495/840) of respondents reported at least one experience of derogatory jokes and comments, 54% (454/840) of respondents reported at least one experience of gender-related discrimination, and 22% (187/840) of respondents reported at least one incident of sexual harassment. More severe types of sexual harassment were reported by 9% (79/840) of respondents. Women, and especially undergraduate women, were more often exposed to all kinds of harassment than were men. Lecturers/professors, doctors and co-students were the categories most often identified as the harassers. The harassment mostly occurred during lectures, clinical work and coffee breaks. The most common types of self-perceived mistreatment were derogatory jokes and comments. CONCLUSION: This survey shows that sexual harassment happens to both men and women, although it is more commonly experienced by female undergraduate and doctoral students, and that it occurs in both the university and hospital environments. Universities should develop action plans to prevent such events. Students and teachers should be well informed about appropriate measures to take in situations where harassment is known or suspected to occur.
Women and men are shaped over the courses of their lives by culture, society and human interaction according to the gender system. Cultural influences on individuals' social roles and environment are described in occupational therapy literature, but not specifically from a gender perspective. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how a sample of occupational therapists perceives the 'gender' concept.
Four focus group interviews with 17 occupational therapists were conducted. The opening question was: 'How do you reflect on the encounter with a client depending on whether it is a man or a woman?' The transcribed interviews were analysed and two main themes emerged: 'the concept of gender is tacit in occupational therapy' and 'client encounters'.
The occupational therapists expressed limited theoretical knowledge of 'gender'. Furthermore, the occupational therapists seemed to be 'doing gender' in their encounters with the clients. For example, in their assessment of the client, they focussed their questions on different spheres: with female clients, on the household and family; with male clients, on their paid work.
This study demonstrated that occupational therapists were unaware of the possibility that they were 'doing gender' in their encounters with clients. There is a need to increase occupational therapists' awareness of their own behaviour of 'doing gender'. Furthermore, there is a need to investigate whether gendered perceptions will shorten or lengthen a rehabilitation period and affect the chosen interventions, and in the end, the outcome for the clients.