The effect of mental ill health on absence from work in different occupational classifications: analysis of routine data in the British Household Panel Survey

Will Whittaker, Matt Sutton, Sara Macdonald, Margaret Maxwell, Michael Smith, Philip Wilson, Jill Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: To investigate relationship of mental ill health to absence from work in different occupational classifications. METHOD:: Examined sickness absence, mental health (GHQ-12), physical health, job characteristics, and personal characteristics in 18 waves of the British Household Panel Survey. RESULTS:: Overall sickness absence rate was 1.68%. Increased absence was associated with age greater than 45 years, female gender, lower occupational classification, and public-sector employers. Decreased absence was associated with part-time working. Scoring 4 or more on the General Health Questionnaire 12-item version (GHQ-12 caseness) was strongly associated with sickness absence. Public-sector employers had highest rates of sickness absence. GHQ-12 caseness had largest impact on absence in the public and nonprofit sectors, whereas physical health problems impacted more in the private sector. CONCLUSIONS:: GHQ-12 caseness is strongly associated with increased absence in all classifications of occupations. Differences between sectors require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1544
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume54
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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