Work-related psychosocial risk factors for long-term sick leave: a prospective study of the general working population in Norway

J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Aug;56(8):787-93. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000212.


Objective: To examine the effect of work-related psychosocial exposures on long-term sick leave (LTSL) in the general working population.

Methods: A prospective study of the general working population in Norway. Eligible respondents were interviewed in 2009 and registered with at least 100 working days in 2009 and 2010 (n = 6758). The outcome was medically confirmed LTSL of 40 days or more during 2010.

Results: In the fully adjusted model, high exposure to role conflict (odds ratio [OR], 1.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 2.09), emotional demands (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.69), and low supportive leadership (OR = 1.50; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.96) predicted LTSL. A test for trend was statistically significant for all factors (P ≤ 0.05). We estimated that 15% of LTSL cases were attributable to these factors.

Conclusions: This study underlines the importance of taking into account psychosocial exposures as risk factors for LTSL.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult