Psychosocial Working Conditions and Trajectories of Sickness Absence and Disability Pension Days – an 11-Year Follow-up of 2.1 Million Employees in Sweden

Laura Salonen , University of Turku, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland
Alexanderson Kristina, Karolinska Institutet
Reiner Rugulies, National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Elisabeth Framke, National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Mikko Niemelä, University of Turku
Kristin Farrants, Karolinska Institutet

Psychosocial working conditions such as job demands and job control are associated with employee well-being. However, studies on the associations between working conditions and sickness absence (SA) and disability pension (DP) and especially on their development over time are scarce. We examined the association between psychosocial working conditions and subsequent SA/DP trajectories over 11 years in the workforce in Sweden. Using a prospective cohort study with microdata we explored SA/DP trajectories among women (n=1,076,042) and men (n=1,102,721) in paid work, respectively, aged 30–53 years in 2001 in Sweden. Group-based trajectory analysis was used to model annual mean SA/DP net days in 2002–2012. Based on a Swedish Job Exposure Matrix (JEM), individuals were assigned an age-, sex- and occupation-specific mean score for demands and control, respectively. Mean scores were categorized into tertiles and categorised into 3x3 combinations of exposure categories. Using multinomial regression we predicted trajectory group memberships for the JEM and demographic characteristics. Three SA/DP trajectories were found for women (low stable, medium stable & high increasing) and two for men (low stable & high increasing). In fully adjusted models, low job demands and control were associated with the highest risk of belonging to the high increasing trajectory in women (OR 1.38 95% CI 1.35-1.42) and high demands and low control in men (OR 1.18 95% CI 1.13-1.24) compared to medium demands and control. In general, low demands was independently of the level of control associated with an increased odds of belonging to medium stable and high increasing trajectory.

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 Presented in Session 89. Employment, Occupational Characteristics, and Health