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Measures of Work-Family Conflict Predict Sickness Absence From Work

Clays, Els PhD; Kittel, France PhD; Godin, Isabelle PhD; Bacquer, Dirk De PhD; Backer, Guy De PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 8 - p 879-886
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181aa5070
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the relation between work-family conflict and sickness absence.

Methods: The BELSTRESS III study comprised 2983 middle-aged workers. Strain-based work-home interference (WHI) and home-work interference (HWI) were assessed by means of self-administered questionnaires. Prospective data of registered sickness absence during 12-months follow-up were collected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted.

Results: HWI was positively and significantly related to high sickness absence duration (at least 10 sick leave days) and high sickness absence frequency (at least 3 sick leave episodes) in men and women, also after adjustments were made for sociodemographic variables, health indicators, and environmental psychosocial factors. In multivariate analysis, no association between WHI and sickness absence was found.

Conclusions: HWI was positively and significantly related to high sickness absence duration and frequency during 12-months follow-up in male and female workers.

From the Department of Public Health (Dr Clays, Dr De Bacquer, Dr De Backer), Ghent University, University Hospital—Block A, De Pintelaan, Ghent, Belgium; and Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion (Dr Kittel, Dr Godin), School of Public Health, Free University of Brussels, Campus Erasmus, Route de Lennik, Brussels, Belgium.

CME Available for this Article at ACOEM.org

Els Clays and coauthors have no commercial interests related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Els Clays, Department of Public Health, Ghent University, University Hospital—Block A, De Pintelaan, 185, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium; E-mail: els.clays@UGent.be.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine