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J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Aug;56(8):787-93. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000212.

Work-related psychosocial risk factors for long-term sick leave: a prospective study of the general working population in Norway.

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From the Department of Occupational Health Surveillance (Ms Aagestad and Drs Johannessen, Tynes, Gravseth, and Sterud), National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo; and Department of Behavioral Sciences (Ms Aagestad), Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.



To examine the effect of work-related psychosocial exposures on long-term sick leave (LTSL) in the general working population.


A prospective study of the general working population in Norway. Eligible respondents were interviewed in 2009 and registered with at least 100 working days in 2009 and 2010 (n = 6758). The outcome was medically confirmed LTSL of 40 days or more during 2010.


In the fully adjusted model, high exposure to role conflict (odds ratio [OR], 1.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 2.09), emotional demands (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.69), and low supportive leadership (OR = 1.50; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.96) predicted LTSL. A test for trend was statistically significant for all factors (P ≤ 0.05). We estimated that 15% of LTSL cases were attributable to these factors.


This study underlines the importance of taking into account psychosocial exposures as risk factors for LTSL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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