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J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Sep;47(9):941-7.

Psychological distress, fatigue and long-term sickness absence: prospective results from the Maastricht Cohort Study.

Author information

1
National Institute of Occupational Health, Copenhagen, Denmark. utb@ami.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Little is known about psychological distress as a risk factor for the onset of long-term sickness absence and even less about the influence of fatigue in this relationship.

METHODS:

We examined the relationship between psychological distress and the onset of long-term sickness absence during 18 months of follow-up while considering fatigue. Analyses were based on 6403 employees participating in the Maastricht Cohort Study.

RESULTS:

Psychological distress was related to the onset of long-term sickness absence (women relative risk 1.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.23-1.72; men 1.33, 1.21-1.46). Adjustment for fatigue weakened the associations, particularly in women. Caseness analyses revealed different effects of psychological distress and fatigue in the onset of long-term sickness absence in men and women.

CONCLUSION:

The findings underline the need for interventions aiming at psychological distress and, depending on the gender, also at fatigue, to reduce the risk of long-term sickness absence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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