Frequent sickness absence, a signal to take action: a signal to take action

Annette Notenbomer

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Frequent sickness absence, i.e. 3 or more sickness absence spells per year, has a prevalence of 6% in Dutch employees. We found that frequent absentees reported a lower work ability than employees with less sickness absence. Frequent absentees reported especially a lower ability to cope with job demands and experienced work impairment due to disease. According to frequent absentees, causes of frequent sickness absence are: high work and home demands, low job resources, poor health, chronic illness, unhealthy lifestyle, and diminished feeling of responsibility to attend work in case of low job resources, particularly when support from management is low. Addressing these factors and improving their own communication and communication skills were seen as measures to reduce frequent sickness absence. As frequent sickness absence also often predicts both future frequent and future long-term sickness absence, frequent sickness absence could be regarded as a signal to take action. A new e-health intervention was not effective as a stand-alone tool to reduce sickness absence among frequent absentees. This intervention could not be tested in combination with consultation with an occupational physician, as very few participants visited the occupational physician. For the prevention of future sickness absence it is important that frequent absentees and their employers become aware of frequent sickness absence and the risk of future sickness absence. Appropriate actions by the employer and/or the employee should follow.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Bultmann, Ute, Supervisor
    • van Rhenen, Willem, Supervisor
    • Roelen, Corné, Co-supervisor
    Award date1-Jul-2019
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-1623-6
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1622-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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