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Am J Health Promot. 1995 Nov-Dec;10(2):117-24.

Occupational stress, physician-excused absences, and absences not excused by a physician.

Author information

1
Ohio State University, Department of Preventive Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210-1240, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study explores two possible mechanisms through which occupational stress is linked to absenteeism. The extent to which physician-excused absenteeism and absenteeism not excused by a physician are related to employee reports of perceived stress is assessed.

DESIGN:

A plant wide survey was conducted in January 1990. Employee reports of occupational stress gained from this survey were linked with 1990 absenteeism data from the employees' records.

SETTING:

A mid-sized manufacturing plant.

SAMPLE:

Complete data were available for 998 of the 1534 (65%) unionized employees in the plant.

MEASURES:

Measures of both physician-excused absences and absences not excused by a physician were created. Stressors included role ambiguity, lack of control over work pace, and being paid on a piece-rate basis. Perceived stresses included role conflict, physical environment stresses, and overall work stress.

RESULTS:

For physician-excused absenteeism, role conflict (OR, 1.54, p < .01), overall work stress (OR, 1.24, p < .05), and physical environment stress (OR, 1.34, p < .05) had significantly elevated odds ratios, even after adjusting for demographics. For absences not excused by a physician, none of the stressors or stresses had significant odds ratios after controlling for demographic characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS:

Employees in this plant were not using short-term voluntary absenteeism as a way of coping with work stress. However, high levels of perceived work stress were associated with subsequent physician-excused absences.

PMID:
10160045
DOI:
10.4278/0890-1171-10.2.117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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