Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 259–277

Work Factors Related to Psychological and Health-Related Distress Among Employees with Chronic Illnesses

  • Fehmidah Munir
  • Joanna Yarker
  • Cheryl Haslam
  • Helen Long
  • Stavroula Leka
  • Amanda Griffiths
  • Sara Cox
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10926-007-9074-3

Cite this article as:
Munir, F., Yarker, J., Haslam, C. et al. J Occup Rehabil (2007) 17: 259. doi:10.1007/s10926-007-9074-3

Abstract

Objective: This study examined specific psychosocial factors associated with psychological and health-related distress amongst employees reporting different chronic illnesses. Methods: The sample consisted of 1029 employees managing either musculoskeletal pain (n=324), arthritis and rheumatism (n=192), asthma (n=174), depression and anxiety (n=152), heart disease (n=96) or diabetes (n=91). Information on psychological distress, work limitations, illness management, disclosure, absence, presenteeism, support and demographic factors were obtained through self-administered questionnaires. Results: Both low psychological well-being and high health-related distress were associated with an increase in work limitations (β=0.20, SE=.03; and β=0.19, SE=.01, respectively), poorer management of illness symptoms at work (β=−0.17, SE=.12; and β=−0.13, SE=.02), high presentieesm (β=0.19, SE=.25; and β=0.14, SE=.05) and low workplace support (β=−0.05, SE=.22; and β=−0.12, SE=.05). Health-related distress was additionally associated with disclosure of illness at work (β=0.18, SE=.08) and long-term sickness absence (β=0.10, SE=.06). Conclusions: To enable individuals to effectively manage both their illness and their work without serious repercussions, it is important for both healthcare professionals and employers alike, to improve the well-being of workers with chronic illness by supporting and facilitating their efforts to over-come health-related limitations at work.

Keywords

Chronic illness Psychological distress Health Work Employees 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fehmidah Munir
    • 1
  • Joanna Yarker
    • 2
  • Cheryl Haslam
    • 1
  • Helen Long
    • 3
  • Stavroula Leka
    • 4
  • Amanda Griffiths
    • 4
  • Sara Cox
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Human Sciences, Brockington BuildingLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.Goldsmiths CollegeUniversity of LondonNew CrossUK
  3. 3.Organisational Development TeamDepartment of Work and PensionsSheffieldUK
  4. 4.Institute of Work, Health & OrganisationsUniversity of Nottingham, University BoulevardNottinghamUK

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