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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Gunnar Aronsson, Klas Gustafsson and Christin Mellner

The purpose of this paper is to compare sickness presence (SP) and sickness absence (SA) regarding the strength of their relationship to health/ill‐health. In a previous…

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1098

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare sickness presence (SP) and sickness absence (SA) regarding the strength of their relationship to health/ill‐health. In a previous Canadian study a stronger association between SP and health/ill‐health than between SA and health/ill‐health was shown.

Design/methodology/approach

Five Swedish data sets from the years 1992 to 2005 provided the study populations, including both representative samples and specific occupational groups (n=425‐3,622). Univariate correlations and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed. The data sets contained questions on SP and SA as well as on various health complaints and, in some cases, self‐rated health (SRH).

Findings

The general trend was that correlations and odds ratios increased regularly for both SP and SA, with SP showing the highest values. In one data set, SRH was predicted by a combination of the two measures, with an explained variance of 25 percent. Stratified analyses showed that the more irreplaceable an individual is at work, the larger is the difference in correlation size between SP and SA with regard to SRH. SP also showed an accentuated and stronger association with SRH than SA among individuals reporting poor economic circumstances.

Practical implications

The results support the notion that SA is an insufficient, and even misleading, measure of health status for certain groups in the labor market, which seem to have poorer health than the measure of SA would indicate.

Orginality/value

A combined measure of sickness presence and absence may be worth considering as an indicator of both individual and organizational health status.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Gunnar Aronsson and Victoria Blom

The aim of this paper is to investigate which work‐ and private life factors are associated with long‐term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness

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1391

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate which work‐ and private life factors are associated with long‐term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness presence.

Design/methodology/approach

A representative sample of 2,297 individuals responded to a questionnaire on two occasions at an interval of one year. In total, 28 percent were classified as having good long‐term health.

Findings

Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that some quality‐related work environment factors were rather strongly associated with long‐term health. For some variables women showed a clear dose‐response pattern on the three‐level scale alternatives in relation to health, while men had a more asymmetric response pattern. The results are discussed in relation to the symmetry in the work environment factors, i.e. if there are different factors that explain health and illness.

Practical implications

Issues concerning health and health‐enhancing factors are of considerable interest to practitioners concerned with management issues, organizational structure, and rehabilitation.

Originality/value

The paper shows the importance of including a positive health variable within the health research paradigm to supplement the dominance of variables focusing on illness and disease.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Caroline Biron, Jean‐Pierre Brun, Hans Ivers and Cary Cooper

Many studies have shown that an unfavourable psychosocial environment increases the risk of mental and physical illness, as well as absenteeism, or sickness absence…

Abstract

Many studies have shown that an unfavourable psychosocial environment increases the risk of mental and physical illness, as well as absenteeism, or sickness absence. However, more costly than absenteeism is presenteeism, where a person is present at work even though disabled by a mental or physical illness. We sought to identify factors explaining why workers would come to work even when their health is impaired. In a cross‐sectional design data were collected from 3825 employees of a Canadian organisation. The results show a high occurrence of presenteeism: workers went to work in spite of illness 50% of the time. Presenteeism propensity (the percentage of days worked while ill over total number of sick days) was higher for workers who were ill more often. Heavier workloads, higher skill discretion, harmonious relationships with colleagues, role conflict and precarious job status increased presenteeism, but decision authority did not. Workers reporting high psychological distress and more severe psychosomatic complaints were also more likely to report higher rates of presenteeism. These results suggest that stress research should not only include absenteeism as an outcome indicator, but also consider presenteeism.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2018

James MacGregor and J. Barton Cunningham

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the results from two public sector organizations to test a model of the organizational antecedents and health consequences of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the results from two public sector organizations to test a model of the organizational antecedents and health consequences of sickness presenteeism (SP) in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

The study reports on two surveys of public employees, one including 237 respondents and another of 391 employees. The combined sample allowed for the testing of a model of organizational antecedents and the health consequences of SP.

Findings

The results supported the model, indicating that increased leader support and goal clarity decrease SP indirectly through increased trust. Decreasing presenteeism is associated with decreased sickness absence and better health.

Practical implications

The key practical application is in encouraging managers and scholars to recognize that the costs of presenteeism are as higher or higher than the costs of absenteeism.

Social implications

The social implications are clear in helping us recognize that when people come to work sick, they are not productive and are endangering the productivity of others.

Originality/value

This is the first time that research had defined and operationalized a causal model linking antecedents such as leader-member relations, goal clarity and trust with SP and absenteeism.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Georgios Merekoulias and Evangelos C Alexopoulos

Bradford formula (index) or factor (BF) was originally designed for use as part of the overall investigation and management of absenteeism. Work ability index (WAI) is an…

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1103

Abstract

Purpose

Bradford formula (index) or factor (BF) was originally designed for use as part of the overall investigation and management of absenteeism. Work ability index (WAI) is an instrument that has been used to evaluate work ability. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate retrospectively, the properties of the WAI, the BF and their combination – the sickness absence probability factor – in predicting future sickness absence.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on sickness absences of shipyard employees for the period 2002-2006 were utilized for the calculation of the relevant BFs. The Greek version of the WAI questionnaire was also used. The sickness absence probability factor was calculated by summing up the scores of the two other tools, after transforming them into categorical variables.

Findings

Increased BF values are positively and strongly correlated to increased sickness absenteeism levels in the following years (p<0.001), especially for the immediate following years. WAI score is also strongly negatively correlated to absence. The combination of BF and WAI acted even better.

Originality/value

The use of tools, like the BF and the suggested sickness probability factor, should be considered by occupational health personnel in order to act proactively on sickness absenteeism, since they were found to be related to future absenteeism. Actions should follow health and safety rules and ethics and should be undertaken by competent health personnel.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

James N. MacGregor, J. Barton Cunningham and Natasha Caverley

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of stressful life events and health related events with sickness absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work…

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7080

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of stressful life events and health related events with sickness absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work while ill or injured).

Design/methodology/approach

A web‐based survey was conducted within a public service organization which had just undergone a significant downsizing, where the workforce was reduced by over 30 per cent.

Findings

The findings indicated that stressful life events were significantly associated with both presenteeism and absenteeism, to the same degree.

Research limitations/implications

These results extend previous research in suggesting that employees are substituting presenteeism for absenteeism. However, different health risks (chronic conditions vs needing counselling support) were more likely to predict absenteeism than presenteeism.

Originality/value

By supporting a substitution hypothesis, the present study suggests that both presenteeism and absenteeism are important measures of employee health and organizational productivity.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Jirachat Tangchareonsamut, Chathaya Wongrathanandha, Siriluk Khamsee and Wichai Aekplakorn

The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of absenteeism and presenteeism and explore their association with work performance among support workers in a medical…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of absenteeism and presenteeism and explore their association with work performance among support workers in a medical school hospital in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,102 support workers in the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, in June–August 2020. The World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) was used to assess absenteeism, presenteeism, work performance and related factors. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between current work performance and absenteeism and presenteeism in the past year.

Findings

A total of 505 (45.8%) support workers completed the self-report questionnaire. Prevalence of sickness absence, non-sickness absence and presenteeism in the past year was 54.2%, 81.4% and 48.1%, respectively. Sickness absence and presenteeism in the past year were significantly associated with increased odds of poor work performance: (OR 3.05, 95% CI: 1.24–7.49) and (OR 5.12, 95% CI: 2.25–11.64), respectively. Support workers with high levels of stress and burnout were 3.89 (95% CI: 1.56–9.68) and 2.66 (95% CI: 1.50–4.72) times more likely to report poor work performance.

Originality/value

Sickness absence and presenteeism are associated with poor work performance in hospital support workers. Other factors such as stress and burnout also contribute to poor work performance, and interaction among these factors needs further research. To improve productivity, hospital administrators might consider intervention programs to enhance work performance among workers with sickness absence and presenteeism.

Details

Journal of Health Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0857-4421

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Babette Bronkhorst and Brenda Vermeeren

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between organizational safety climate and organizational health performance outcomes (i.e. absenteeism…

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1207

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between organizational safety climate and organizational health performance outcomes (i.e. absenteeism, presenteeism, health care utilization) mediated by individual worker health. The authors used three pathways to examine this relationship: a physical pathway starting with physical safety climate and mediated by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), a psychosocial pathway starting with psychosocial safety climate and mediated by emotional exhaustion, and a combined pathway starting with psychosocial safety climate and mediated by both MSDs and emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

Three mediational multilevel analyses were conducted using a sample of 8,761 employees working in 177 health care organizations.

Findings

Although the findings did not support the hypothesized physical pathway, they showed that the psychosocial pathway worked satisfactorily for two of the three health performance outcomes (absenteeism and presenteeism). The combined physical and psychosocial pathway explained differences in the third outcome: health care utilization.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to include both physical and psychosocial pathways that lead to employee health and organizational performance. The results underscore the importance of paying attention to psychological health and safety in the health care workplace. Not only for the psychological health of employees, but also to improve their physical health and subsequent organizational health performance.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Chiara Panari and Silvia Simbula

The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents and consequences of the phenomenon of presenteeism in the educational sector. Particularly, the authors tested the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents and consequences of the phenomenon of presenteeism in the educational sector. Particularly, the authors tested the relationship between excessive work responsibilities, presenteeism, work-to-family conflict and workers’ emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

A self-report questionnaire was administered to 264 teachers in secondary schools.

Findings

A subsequent mediation of presenteeism and work-to-family conflict between work responsibilities and emotional exhaustion was found.

Originality/value

The findings of this study will provide help today’s organisations for better understanding and managing the new phenomenon of presenteeism in order to promote workers’ well-being and performance.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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