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Is Absence Related to Work Stress? A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study on a Special Police Force
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume 56, Issue 7, pages 765–775, July 2013
How to Cite
Magnavita, N. and Garbarino, S. (2013), Is Absence Related to Work Stress? A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study on a Special Police Force. Am. J. Ind. Med., 56: 765–775. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22155
Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.
Ethics approval: As stated in the “Methods” section, the study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Catholic University Rome School of Medicine, Rome, Italy. This study has been authorized by the Institute of Occupational Medicine of the same University, and by the National Police Board, Ministry of the Interior, Italy. This article does not contain details which would allow patients to be identified. Workers gave their explicit informed consent to participation in the study.
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 DEC 2012
- job strain;
- effort–reward imbalance;
- short-time sickness absence;
- risk assessment;
- social support;
Sickness absence due to illness is considered an indicator of work-related stress. Police work is a very stressful job. Sickness absence and sick leave are frequent among policemen.
We tested whether stress variables were predictors of absenteeism in a police unit specifically assigned to the maintenance of law and order.
Control, Reward, and Support were negatively related to frequency of absence and short-term absence. Demand and Effort were positively related to total lost days. Absence recorded in the previous year was the best predictor of absenteeism. We also found a positive, albeit weak association between absence in the previous year and subsequent work-related stress.
Stress variables are associated with sickness absence, although the association is weak. Both short-term and prolonged sickness absence should be regarded as a warning sign for subsequent sickness absence and distress. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:765–775, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.