Objective: This study examines effects of psychosocial risk factors on long-term sickness absence, and investigates possible interactions between psychosocial and physical work environment risk factors.
Methods: A total of 5,357 employees were interviewed in 2000 regarding work environment and followed up during the proceeding 1.5 years regarding onset of long-term sickness absence.
Results: Long-term sickness absence among female employees was associated with role conflict, low reward, and poor management quality. Demands for hiding emotions and high emotional demands predicted long-term sickness absence among men. No significant interactions between psychosocial and physical exposures were found for female or male employees.
Conclusions: The study suggests a potential for reducing long-term sickness absence through interventions targeted toward reducing role conflict, and improving reward and management quality among female employees, and through reducing emotional demands and demands for hiding emotions among male employees.