Multilevel analysis of individual and contextual factors as predictors of return to work

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Nov;48(11):1181-8. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000243359.52562.a5.


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine if individual and contextual levels of work environment factors predict return to work (RTW).

Methods: Baseline data from 52 workplaces was linked to a national absence register. Four hundred twenty-eight persons with more than 2 weeks of sickness absence during a 2-year period were identified. Follow up was 1 year to examine three RTW outcomes. Multilevel logistic and Poisson regression models were used.

Results: At the individual level, significant associations were found between one psychosocial and four physical factors and RTW within 4 weeks. Two physical factors predicted RTW within 1 year. Two psychosocial and two physical factors significantly prolonged duration of sickness absence. No significant contextual level risk factors were found.

Conclusion: At the individual level, both the psychosocial and physical work environment factors are important independent predictors of RTW.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Employment*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Occupational Health*
  • Psychology
  • Self-Assessment
  • Sick Leave*
  • Work Capacity Evaluation*
  • Workplace / psychology*