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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Mary L Marzec, Andrew Scibelli and Dee Edington

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of changes of medical condition burden index (MCBI) and stress on absenteeism and discuss implications for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of changes of medical condition burden index (MCBI) and stress on absenteeism and discuss implications for policy/program design.

Design/methodology/approach

Sample: US utility employees that participated in Health Risk Appraisals (HRA) during 2009 and 2010 (n=3,711). Methods: the MCBI was created by summing number of medical conditions. Absenteeism was measured from administrative records. Change in MCBI and stress and impact on absenteeism was assessed according to incremental change, by low/high categorizations, and by using multivariate regression.

Findings

Incrementally, greater changes in MCBI or stress generally resulted in corresponding absenteeism change. For both MCBI and stress, high categories were associated with greater absenteeism compared to those in low categories. Those remaining in the low MCBI category decreased absenteeism (−0.10 days/year; p=0.01). Changes from low to high MCBI resulted in increased absenteeism (+0.12 days/year; p=0.04. Changes in stress from low to high or from high to low categories resulted in concurrent changes in absenteeism (+0.21 days/year; p=0.04 and −0.31 days/year; p=0.01, respectively). Regression analyses indicated the interaction between stress and MCBI as a significant contributor to absenteeism change.

Research limitations/implications

Conclusions: MCBI, stress and their interaction appear to be direct determinants of absenteeism. Companies should consider both physical and emotional health simultaneously in program interventions in order to reduce absenteeism.

Originality/value

Unlike most studies illustrating cross-sectional relationships, this study shows how changes in stress and medical conditions relate to changes in absenteeism. The interaction between MCBI and stress in this context is also a novel addition.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Mary L. Marzec, Thomas Golaszewski, Shirley Musich, Patricia E. Powers, Sandra Shewry and Dee W. Edington

The purpose of this study is to determine results of an environmental approach to improving employee health status in a government employer setting.

1187

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine results of an environmental approach to improving employee health status in a government employer setting.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an observational study of one worksite and its employees from 2005 to 2007. Environmental interventions were part of the worksite environment, accessible, and applicable to employees regardless of health status. Outcomes were: change in the worksite environment using the Heart Check assessment, change in employee health risks using health risk appraisals (HRAs) and change in hours of sick time. The eligible population included active employees from 2005 to 2007 (n=2,276).

Findings

The Heart Check score increased by 26 percentage points. Despite aging of HRA participants, results showed maintenance of risk status with a non‐significant increase in percent at low risk (51.6 percent to 53.1 percent). Percent at high risk had a non‐significant decrease (21.1 percent to 20.2 percent). The three‐month average for hours of sick time decreased from 12.7 to 11.6 hours (p=0.03) for the larger eligible population.

Originality/value

This paper offers qualitative information for others seeking to implement population‐based health promotion interventions. This particular setting presented challenges related to union and non‐union regulations, sub‐contractors, and multiple administrative levels. Quantitatively, change of health risks and absenteeism serves as a reference to others engaging in workplace health promotion.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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