Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Work Performance Decrements Are Associated With Australian Working Conditions, Particularly the Demand to Work Longer Hours

Holden, Libby MPH; Scuffham, Paul A. PhD; Hilton, Michael F. PhD; Vecchio, Nerina N. PhD; Whiteford, Harvey A. MBBS, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 3 - p 281-290
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d1cdbb
Original Articles

Objectives: To demonstrate the importance of including a range of working conditions in models exploring the association between health- and work-related performance.

Methods: The Australian Work Outcomes Research Cost-benefit study cross-sectional screening data set was used to explore health-related absenteeism and work performance losses on a sample of approximately 78,000 working Australians, including available demographic and working condition factors. Data collected using the World Health Organization Health and Productivity Questionnaire were analyzed with negative binomial logistic regression and multinomial logistic regressions for absenteeism and work performance, respectively.

Results: Hours expected to work, annual wage, and job insecurity play a vital role in the association between health- and work-related performance for both work attendance and self-reported work performance.

Conclusions: Australian working conditions are contributing to both absenteeism and low work performance, regardless of health status.

From the School of Medicine (Ms Holden, Dr Scuffham, Dr Vecchio), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; Centre for Mental Health Research (Dr Hilton, Dr Whiteford), Queensland Health, Australia; and School of Population Health (Dr Hilton, Dr Whiteford), University of Queensland, Herston, Australia.

Libby Holden and coauthors Paul A. Scuffham, Michael F. Hilton, Nerina N. Vecchio, and Harvey A. Whiteford have no financial interest in this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Libby Holden, MPH, School of Medicine, Griffith University, University Drive, Meadowbrook, Q4131; E-mail: or

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine