Sickness presenteeism - a multi-national register study of determinants and possible consequences

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2008
End date: 31/12/2010
Funding: 1350000 SEK


The project, which was granted means to study sickness presenteeism in different epidemiological materials, aims to:

- describe the prevalence of sickness presenteeism in different populations.

- study the association between sickness presenteeism and absenteeism.

- study work environment as a predictor of sickness presenteeism.

- investigate sickness presenteeism as a predictor for future health, functional capacity, sickness absence, and disability pension.

- study potential mechanisms linking sickness absence to future health problems.

The project is carried out in collaboration with researchers in an international network for sickness absence research, called SARC.

The results so far indicate, among other things, that the association earlier observed between working while ill and future coronary heart disease is not caused by triggering of serious coronary events. Other results indicate that there is a substantial positive association between sickness absence and sickness presenteeism that cannot be explained by long-standing health problems, and that work environment is a stronger predictor of self-rated sickness presenteeism among those who are relatively healthy. Women rating their superiors as seldom showing integrity had higher sickness presenteeism. At present, prospective analyses of the consequences of sickness presenteeism are carried out.

Publications so far (December 2009):
Nyberg A, Westerlund H, Magnusson Hanson LL, & Theorell T. Managerial leadership is associated with self-reported sickness absence and sickness presenteeism among Swedish men and women. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2008;36(8), 803-811.

Westerlund H, Kivimäki M, Ferrie JE, Marmot M, Shipley MJ, Vahtera J, & Head J. Does Working While Ill Trigger Serious Coronary Events? The Whitehall II Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2009;51(9):1099-1104.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13