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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181f12f95
Original Articles

Impact of Burnout and Psychosocial Work Characteristics on Future Long-Term Sickness Absence. Prospective Results of the Danish PUMA Study Among Human Service Workers

Borritz, Marianne MD, PhD; Christensen, Karl Bang PhD; Bültmann, Ute PhD; Rugulies, Reiner PhD; Lund, Thomas PhD; Andersen, Ingelise PhD; Villadsen, Ebbe; Diderichsen, Finn MD, PhD; Kristensen, Tage S. Dr Med Sci

Continued Medical Education
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Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine if burnout and psychosocial factors predicted long-term sickness absence (>2 weeks) at work unit level.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively at 82-work units in human services (PUMA cohort, PUMA: Danish acronym for Burnout, Motivation and Job satisfaction) followed up during the proceeding 18 months regarding onset of long-term sickness absence. Questionnaire data regarding burnout and psychosocial factors were aggregated at work unit level. We used Poisson regression models with psychosocial factors and burnout as predictors of long-term sickness absence for more than 18 months based on data from a national absence register.

Results: Long-term sickness absence was predicted by psychosocial factors and by burnout at work unit level.

Conclusion: To reduce sickness absence, organizations within human services should improve the psychosocial work environment, and equally important, the organizations should be attentive to employees with symptoms of burnout.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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