Psychological distress, fatigue and long-term sickness absence: Prospective results from the Maastricht Cohort Study

Ute Bültmann*, Marcus J.H. Huibers, Ludovic P.G.M. Van Amelsvoort, Ijmert Kant, Stanislav V. Kasl, Gerard M.H. Swaen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Little is known about psychological distress as a risk factor for the onset of long-term sickness absence and even less about the influence of fatigue in this relationship. Methods: We examined the relationship between psychological distress and the onset of long-term sickness absence dunng 18 months of follow-up while considering fatigue. Analyses were based on 6403 employees participating in the Maastricht Cohort Study. Results: Psychological distress was related to the onset of long-term sickness absence (women relative risk 1.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.23-1.72; men 1.33, 1.21-1.46). Adjustment for fatigue weakened the associations, particularly in women. Caseness analyses revealed different effects of psychological distress and fatigue in the onset of long-term sickness absence in men and women. Conclusion: The findings underline the need for interventions aiming at psychological distress and, depending on the gender, also at fatigue, to reduce the risk of long-term sickness absence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume47
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

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