[Social Support as a Resource for Work Ability]

Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2016 Apr;55(2):102-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-101337. Epub 2016 Apr 12.
[Article in German]


Purpose: The study examined the association of social support with subjective work ability, subjective prognosis of gainful employment and general health perception.

Methods: The analysis considered cross-sectional data from a sample of 2,983 employees (40-54 years) with sickness benefits in 2012. The postal survey was conducted in May 2013.

Results: After adjustment for socio-demographic and work-related characteristics as well as personality factors low social support was significantly associated with lower work ability (b=- 2,7; 95% CI:-3,4 to 1,9), higher odds of poor employment prognosis (OR=2,0; 95% CI: 1,5 to 2,6) and poorer health perception (b=- 8,0; 95% CI:-10,1 to-5,9).

Conclusions: Low social support is potentially an independent predictor of lower work ability, employment prognosis and general health perception. To confirm causal relationships longitudinal data are needed, which will be assessed in 2015 and 2017.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Insurance Benefits / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Return to Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Support*
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data
  • Work Performance / statistics & numerical data*