Gender and age differences in the recurrence of sickness absence due to common mental disorders: a longitudinal studyReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 10:426

First Online: 20 July 2010Received: 10 November 2009Accepted: 20 July 2010DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-10-426

Cite this article as: Koopmans, P.C., Roelen, C.A., Bültmann, U. et al. BMC Public Health 2010 10: 426. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-426


BackgroundCommon mental disorders CMDs are an important cause of sickness absence and long-term work disability. Although CMDs are known to have high recurrence rates, little is known about the recurrence of sickness absence due to CMDs. The aim of this study was to investigate the recurrence of sickness absence due to CMDs, including distress, adjustment disorders, depressive disorders and anxiety disorders, according to age, in male and female employees in the Netherlands.

MethodsData on sickness absence episodes due to CMDs were obtained for 137,172 employees working in the Dutch Post and Telecommunication companies between 2001 and 2007. The incidence density ID and recurrence density RD of sickness absence due to CMDs was calculated per 1000 person-years in men and women in the age-groups of < 35 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years, and ≥ 55 years.

ResultsThe ID of one episode of CMDs sickness absence was 25.0 per 1000 person-years, and the RD was 76.7 per 1000 person-years. Sickness absence due to psychiatric disorders anxiety and depression does not have a higher recurrence density of sickness absence due to any CMDs as compared to stress-related disorders distress and adjustment disorders: 81.6 versus 76.0 per 1000 person-years. The ID of sickness absence due to CMDs was higher in women than in men, but the RD was similar. Recurrences were more frequent in women < 35 years and in women between 35 and 44 years of age. We observed no differences between age groups in men. Recurrences among employees with recurrent episodes occurred within 3 years in 90% of cases and the median time-to-onset of recurrence was 11 10-13 months in men and 10 9-12 months in women.

ConclusionsEmployees who have been absent from work due to CMDs are at increased risk of recurrent sickness absence due to CMDs and should be monitored after they return to work. The RD was similar in men and in women. In women < 45 years the RD was higher than in women ≥ 45 years. In men no age differences were observed.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-426 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Petra C Koopmans - Corné AM Roelen - Ute Bültmann - Rob Hoedeman - Jac JL van der Klink - Johan W Groothoff


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