Workplace bullying and sickness presenteeism

Cross-sectional and prospective associations in a 2-year follow-up study
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate exposure to workplace bullying as a potential risk factor for sickness presenteeism (SP), i.e. working while ill. METHODS: This study is based on data collected through self-reported questionnaires in a 2-year prospective study on employees in Denmark. At baseline, 3363 employees (45.7 % response rate) answered to a questionnaire on their psychosocial work environment and health status. After 2 years, 1664 of the respondents also completed a follow-up questionnaire (49.5 % of the total baseline respondents). After excluding participants with missing values, the final samples were composed of 2865 and 1331 participants in the cross-sectional and prospective analyses, respectively. RESULTS: Modified poisson regression analyses showed that frequent (i.e. daily or weekly) exposure to workplace bullying was associated with reporting 8 or more days of SP in the preceding year in both the cross-sectional and the prospective analysis, also when controlling for several confounders including health-related variables. However, the prospective relationship became non-significant after adjustment for baseline SP. CONCLUSION: This study provides indications of a significant relationship between exposure to frequent workplace bullying and SP, although causal connections could not be established. Methodological and theoretical considerations about study findings are provided, which could be of benefit to future studies examining the impact of being a target of workplace bullying on SP  

Source: Conway PM, Clausen T, Hansen ÅM, et al. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-015-1055-9 

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