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Absenteeism due to mental health problems and systems for return to work: an internet-based unmatched case–control study

  • Shotaro Doki
  • Shinichiro Sasahara
  • Yasuhito Hirai
  • Yuichi Oi
  • Ichiyo Matsuzaki
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for absenteeism due to mental health problems with regard to company characteristics and systems for return to work in Japan.

Methods

This was an Internet-based unmatched case–control study. Two hundred and fifty-eight workers who experienced over 28 days of sick leave due to mental health problems (cases) and 258 workers who have not taken sick leave (controls) were recruited. Company characteristics and the awareness and presence of systems for return to work were analysed as indicators of absenteeism.

Results

A total of 501 workers were included in the analysis. Females were less likely to experience absenteeism when adjustments were made for both the awareness and presence of systems [odds ratio (OR) = 0.51 and 0.41, respectively]. Large companies showed an increased risk of having absentee workers than small companies. The awareness of a gradual resumption system and the presence of a sick pay system were related to absenteeism (OR = 2.75 and 2.40, respectively).

Conclusions

The awareness and presence of systems for return to work are related to the long-term absenteeism. The predictors of sex and company size are also related to the experience of the long-term absenteeism. To understand the effect of systems for return to work on absenteeism due to mental problems, further studies are needed.

Keyword

Absenteeism Company regulation Return to work Risk factors Sickness absence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 24689024.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shotaro Doki
    • 1
  • Shinichiro Sasahara
    • 2
  • Yasuhito Hirai
    • 2
  • Yuichi Oi
    • 2
  • Ichiyo Matsuzaki
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Comprehensive Human SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.International Institute for Integrative Sleep MedicineTsukubaJapan

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