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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182028f91
Original Articles

Comorbidity and Labor Force Activity Among People With Psychiatric Disorders

Waghorn, Geoff PhD; Chant, David PhD; Jonsdottir, Annika BSc

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Abstract

Objective: Comorbidity among people with psychiatric disorders with respect to other health conditions is extensive yet is rarely explored in-depth in occupational studies. We investigated how other ICD-10 comorbidity impacted on the labor force activity of people with psychiatric disorders.

Methods: A secondary analysis of data files was conducted provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from a 2003 population survey (N = 36,088). The reference group was working age community residents without long-term health conditions.

Results: Comorbidity with a broad range of ICD-10 health conditions can be characterized by both type and extent of comorbidity. Both dimensions are needed to explain impacts on labor force activity.

Conclusions: Health professionals, policymakers, and administrators can utilize these results to identify people with psychiatric disorders and comorbidity profiles most likely to need more intensive vocational services.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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