Effects of presenteeism in chronic occupational musculoskeletal disorders: Stay at work is validated

Krista J. Howard, Tom G. Mayer, Robert J. Gatchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The present study takes a new approach to understanding how presenteeism relates to chronic pain or disability patient outcomes. METHODS: The sample consisted of 2191 consecutive chronic disabling musculoskeletal disorder patients, classified as either presentees (N = 704), or absentees (N = 1487), who were admitted to a functional restoration program. The measures included medical evaluations, demographic data, psychiatric diagnoses at admission, an 1 year follow-up socioeconomic outcome assessment and validated questionnaires evaluating pain, depression, and function. RESULTS: The findings revealed that patients classified as presentees were significantly more likely to complete the prescribed functional restoration treatment program, to return to work (full-duty or full-time), to retain work 1-year posttreatment, and not to have a decrease in job demand from preinjury to posttreatment. CONCLUSIONS: Both employees and employers will benefit if the ill or injured employee stays at work postinjury in lieu of short- or long-term disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-731
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

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