Work-home interference has been proposed as an important explanation for sickness absence (SA). Previous studies show mixed results, have not accounted for familial factors (genetics and shared everyday environment), or investigated diagnosis specific SA. The aim was to study whether work-home interference and perceived total workload predict SA due to stress-related mental diagnoses, or SA due to other mental diagnoses, among women and men, when adjusting for various confounders and familial factors.
This study included 11,916 twins, 19–47 years (49% women). Data on work-to-home and home-to-work conflicts, perceived total workload, and relevant confounders were derived from a 2005 survey, and national register data on SA spells until 2013 were obtained. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Discordant twin pair design was applied to adjust for familial factors.
Each one unit increase in work-to-home and home-to-work conflicts, and perceived total workload was associated with higher odds for SA due to stress-related mental diagnoses and to SA due to other mental diagnoses among women, when adjusting for sociodemographic factors (ORs 1.15–1.31). Including health or familial factors, no associations remained. For men, each one unit increase in work-to-home conflicts was associated with higher odds for SA due to stress-related diagnoses (ORs 1.23–1.35), independently of confounders.
Work-to-home conflict was independently associated with future SA due to stress-related diagnoses among men only. Health- and work-related factors seem to be important confounders when researching work-home interference, perceived total workload, and SA. Not including such confounders involves risking drawing incorrect conclusions. Further studies are needed to confirm sex differences and whether genetic factors are important for the associations studied.
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- Work-Home Interference, Perceived Total Workload, and the Risk of Future Sickness Absence Due to Stress-Related Mental Diagnoses Among Women and Men: a Prospective Twin Study
- Springer US