Short-term and long-term sick-leave in Sweden: relationships with social circumstances, working conditions and gender

Scand J Soc Med. 1995 Dec;23(4):265-72. doi: 10.1177/140349489502300408.


The primary aim of the study was to analyse similarities and differences between repeated spells of short-term sick-leave (more than 3 spells of less than 7 days' duration in a 12-month period) and long-term absence through sickness (at least 1 spell of more than 59 days' duration in a 12-month period) in relation to variables representing certain social circumstances and aspects of the work situation. Particular attention was paid to gender differences. The study, which had a cross-sectional design, employed data from the surveys of living conditions (ULF) conducted by Statistics Sweden over the period 1986-89. The study group comprised 13,828 employed persons between the ages of 16 and 65. The results suggested the existence of a common mechanism by which a variety of factors are related to the taking of both repeated short spells and long-term sick-leave; gender differences with regard to the effect of working conditions on the taking of sick-leave may be incorrectly estimated if factors related to occupational structure are not taken into consideration; a less than additive effect of physical job demands and repeated short spells of sick-leave on subjective health was found.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Workload