We studied 102 consecutive employed patients treated by elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy to determine job characteristics and psychological factors that predict delay in return to work after their procedure. Median sick leave was 13 days, and five variables significantly added to a model predicting sick leave of at least 20 days (31.4% of the workers): low job satisfaction (odds ratio [OR], 12.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.34 to 47.2); physical effort at work (OR, 4.99; 95% CI, 1.46 to 17.04); pain at 7 days (OR, 5.55; 95% CI, 1.56 to 19.76); patient’s expectation of slow recovery (>7 days) (OR, 6.12; 95% CI, 1.82 to 20.55); and patient’s expectation of no financial loss (OR, 3.85; 95% CI, 1.14 to 12.50). The model was excellent (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 89.6%). We conclude that low job satisfaction is a major predictor of delayed return to work.
From the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Israel (Dr P. Froom, Dr Melamed, T. Nativ, D. Gofer); and the Department of Family Medicine, University of New York at Stony Brook (Dr J. Froom).
Address correspondence to: Professor Paul Froom, Director of the Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Rannana POB 3, Israel.
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