Return to work following sickness absence due to infectious mononucleosis

Occup Med (Lond). 2010 Jun;60(4):249-54. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqq061.

Abstract

Background: Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis among adults is notorious because of the prolonged incapacitating fatigue it causes.

Aims: To investigate the duration of sickness absence and return to work following infectious mononucleosis.

Methods: Episodes of sickness absence due to infectious mononucleosis were selected from an occupational health services register. The duration of sickness absence and return to work was assessed with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

Results: Two thousand one hundred and thirty-seven episodes of absence due to infectious mononucleosis had a median duration of 91 days. Young employees (aged 15-24 years) had the highest return to work rates. Women had longer sickness absence than men. Employees working in small companies were absent longer than employees in large companies.

Conclusions: Occupational physicians should advise gradual return to work, starting 4 weeks after the onset of the illness, in order to prevent physical deconditioning and prolonged illness.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / complications*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult