Physical and mental fatigue as predictors of sickness absence among Norwegian nurses

Authors

  • Corné A.M. Roelen,

    Corresponding author
    1. ArboNed Occupational Health Service, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    • Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Ute Bültmann,

    1. Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Johan Groothoff,

    1. Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Willem van Rhenen,

    1. ArboNed Occupational Health Service, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Center for Human Resource Organization and Management Effectiveness, Business University Nyenrode, Breukelen, The Netherlands
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  • Nils Magerøy,

    1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Bente E. Moen,

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Ståle Pallesen,

    1. Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Bjørn Bjorvatn

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • This survey was funded by Helse Vest and the Norwegian Nurses Organisation (NNO), which had no involvement in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, writing of the report, or decision to submit the paper for publication.

Correspondence to Corné A.M. Roelen

Abstract

We investigated whether fatigue can be used to screen nursing populations for risk of sickness absence. Data were available from a prospective cohort study of 2,059 Norwegian nurses working in hospital care, psychiatric care, and nursing home/home care settings. Physical and mental fatigue were measured at baseline with Chalder's Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ). Self-rated sickness absence at 1-year follow-up was considered high if nurses reported >30 sick days in the past year. Physical fatigue accurately predicted high sickness absence and adequately discriminated between high- and low-risk nurses in nursing home/home care settings. Mental fatigue was not predictive in any setting. The FQ is suitable for screening specific nursing populations for the risk of high sickness absence. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36: 453–465, 2013

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