Job-related anxiety, in contrast to general trait-anxiety, is by its very nature associated with problems of participation at work. The aim of this study is to investigate the relation between general trait-anxiety and specific job-related anxiety and to examine whether job-anxiety and trait-anxiety are differently associated with sick leave. 190 inpatients of a psychosomatic and orthopaedic rehabilitation center with mental and somatic disorders filled in the Job-Anxiety-Scale (JAS) and the State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory (STAI-T). Additionally, informations on age, gender, the current duration of sick leave in weeks, employment status, duration of unemployment, and position at the workplace were collected. Highest scores of job-anxiety were found for the JAS-dimensions "job-related worries" and "health anxieties", followed by "cognitions of insufficiency," "stimulus-related anxieties," and "social anxieties." JAS and STAI-T were significantly correlated. Job-anxiety, in contrast to trait-anxiety, was significantly related to duration of sick leave. Women showed higher scores on the STAI-T but not on the JAS. It can be concluded that job-anxiety is related to but not identical with trait-anxiety. Job-anxiety is important to understand sick leave and appears as a multidimensional and clinically important phenomenon.
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