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Risk Factors for Long-Term Absence Due To Psychiatric Sickness: A Register-Based 5-Year Follow-Up From the Oslo Health Study

Foss, Line MSc; Gravseth, Hans Magne MD, PhD; Kristensen, Petter MD, PhD; Claussen, Bjørgulf MD, PhD; Mehlum, Ingrid Sivesind MD, PhD; Skyberg, Knut MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 7 - p 698-705
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181e98731
Original Articles

Objective: To identify individual and work-related predictors of long-term (>8 weeks) sickness absence with psychiatric diagnoses (LSP).

Methods: Data from the Oslo Health Study (response rate 46%) were linked to public registers. A total of 8333 subjects were followed from 2001 through 2005. Cox regression was used to compute hazard ratios for LSP.

Results: At least one LSP was present in 7.8% of women and 3.9% of men. Poor support from superior had an independent and moderate effect. Path and linear regression analyses indicated that the effect of support from superior was mediated through mental distress and not the other way around. Self-reported mental distress had a strong independent effect.

Conclusions: Women had a higher risk of LSP than men. Low education and poor support from superior and mental distress were found to be determinants of LSP.

From the National Institute of Occupational Health (Ms Foss, Dr Gravseth, Dr Kristensen, Dr Mehlum, Dr Skyberg), Oslo, Norway; Section for Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology (Dr Kristensen, Dr Claussen), Department of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Norway.

Address correspondence to: Line Foss, National Institute of Occupational Health, PO Box 8149 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine