Work factors related to psychological and health-related distress among employees with chronic illnesses
journal contributionposted on 17.06.2009 by Fehmidah Munir, Joanna Yarker, Cheryl Haslam, Helen Long, Stavroula Leka, Amanda Griffiths, Sarah Cox
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Objective: This study examined specific psychosocial factors associated with psychological and health-related distress amongst employees reporting different chronic illnesses. Methods: The sample consisted of 1029 employees managing either musculoskeletal pain (n=324), arthritis and rheumatism (n=192), asthma (n=174), depression and anxiety (n=152), heart disease (n=96) or diabetes (n=91). Information on psychological distress, work limitations, illness management, disclosure, absence, presenteeism, support and demographic factors were obtained through self-administered questionnaires. Results: Both low psychological well-being and high health-related distress were associated with an increase in work limitations (β=0.20, SE=.03; and β=0.19, SE=.01, respectively), poorer management of illness symptoms at work (β=−0.17, SE=.12; and β=−0.13, SE=.02), high presentieesm (β=0.19, SE=.25; and β=0.14, SE=.05) and low workplace support (β=−0.05, SE=.22; and β=−0.12, SE=.05). Health-related distress was additionally associated with disclosure of illness at work (β=0.18, SE=.08) and long-term sickness absence (β=0.10, SE=.06). Conclusions: To enable individuals to effectively manage both their illness and their work without serious repercussions, it is important for both healthcare professionals and employers alike, to improve the well-being of workers with chronic illness by supporting and facilitating their efforts to over-come health-related limitations at work.
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