Influence of changing working conditions on exit from paid employment among workers with a chronic disease

Jolinda L D Schram, Suzan J. W. Robroek, Patricia Ots, Sandra Brouwer, Alex Burdorf, Sander Zon, van, Karen M Oude Hengel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives To investigate the relation between changes in working conditions and exit from paid employment among workers with a chronic disease.

Methods Six waves from the longitudinal Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability and Motivation (2010–2016), enriched with tax-based employment information from Statistics Netherlands (2011–2017), were available for 4820 chronically ill workers aged 45–63 years (mean 55.3 years, SD 5.1). A change in working conditions (physical workload, psychological job demands, job autonomy, emotional job demands and social support) was defined as an increase or decrease between two consecutive waves of at least one SD. Discrete-time survival models with repeated measurements were used to estimate the relative risk (RR) of a change in working conditions on exiting paid employment in the following year compared with no change and consecutive favourable working conditions.

Results A favourable change in physical workload lowered the risk to exit paid employment (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.94). An adverse change in psychosocial working conditions, especially a decrease in social support (RR 2.07, 95% CI 1.52 to 2.81), increased the likelihood to exit paid employment. In contrast, a favourable change in psychological job demands increased the risk to exit paid employment (RR 1.57, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.24). Multiple adverse changes increased the risk to exit paid employment up to six times (RR 6.06, 95% CI 2.83 to 12.98).

Conclusions Changes in working conditions among workers with chronic diseases influence exit from paid employment. Ensuring that working conditions can be adapted to the needs of workers with a chronic disease may help to extend working life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628–633
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Early online date21-Apr-2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2020

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