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Risk factors of recurrent sickness absence due to depression: a two-year cohort study among Japanese employees

Abstract

Purpose

Depression has a high recurrence rate among employees. There have been few studies investigating risk factors for recurrent sickness absence due to depression after return to work (RTW). The objective of this study was to identify potential risk factors.

Methods

Subjects were 540 full-time employees at the biggest telecommunication company in Japan who returned to work from April 2002 to March 2008 after their first leave of absence due to depression. The Cox proportional hazard model was employed to find risk factors for recurrent sickness absence by analyzing variables including demographic, work-related and work environmental factors.

Results

Of 540 study subjects, 200 employees (37.0 %) experienced recurrent sickness absence due to depression after RTW within the follow-up period. Higher organizational job demand evaluated by the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) was found to be a risk factor (OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.01–2.10) for recurrent sickness absence due to depression adjusted for confounding factors.

Conclusions

High organizational job demand (evaluated by BJSQ) is a risk factor for recurrent sickness absence due to depression after RTW.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by all the staff of the Metropolitan Health Administration Center, NTT East and the Department of Public Health, Dokkyo Medical University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to M. Endo.

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Endo, M., Muto, T., Haruyama, Y. et al. Risk factors of recurrent sickness absence due to depression: a two-year cohort study among Japanese employees. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 88, 75–83 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-014-0939-4

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Keywords

  • Depression
  • Recurrent sickness absence
  • Risk factors
  • Brief job stress questionnaire
  • Cox proportional hazard model