Purpose: This study investigates whether common diseases, i.e., musculoskeletal diseases (MSD), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), mental disorders (MD), and respiratory diseases (RD), influence work ability and sick leave and whether lifestyle-related factors, and psychosocial and physical work-related factors are associated with low work ability and sick leave. Methods: In a cross-sectional study among 8364 Dutch health care employees, self-reported information was acquired concerning common diseases, lifestyle-related factors, psychosocial and physical work-related factors, work ability, and sick leave. Logistic regression analyses were performed to describe the associations between common diseases with low work ability and sick leave, and to evaluate differences in associations between lifestyle-related and work-related factors with low work ability and sick leave among healthy employees and employees with common diseases. Results: Employees with MD (OR 6.35), CVD (OR 2.63), MSD (OR 2.62), and RD (OR 2.11) had a higher risk of low work ability compared to healthy employees. Workers with common diseases also reported more often sick leave (ORs > 1.60), in particular long-term sick leave (>25 days). Multimorbidity increased both the occurrence of low work ability and sick leave. Unfavourable psychosocial work-related factors were associated with low work ability and sick leave regardless of health status. Physical work-related factors and lifestyle factors were less consistently associated with low work ability and sick leave. Conclusions: Common diseases, and foremost mental disorders, were related to both low work ability and sick leave. To maintain or improve work ability and prevent sick leave, interventions that promote a healthy psychosocial work environment are needed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Health behavior, Health care, Physical work demands, Psychosocial work demands, Sick leave
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-017-1231-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/100151
Journal International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Citation
van Den Berg, S. (Sophie), Burdorf, A, & Robroek, S.J.W. (2017). Associations between common diseases and work ability and sick leave among health care workers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1–9. doi:10.1007/s00420-017-1231-1