Objective: The cohort study examined the performance of the Work Ability Index in predicting health-related exit and absence from work, work participation, and death among a sample of workers previously receiving sickness absence benefits. Methods: Workers aged 40–54 years who received sickness absence benefits in 2012 completed the Work Ability Index in 2013. Outcomes were extracted from administrative data records covering the period until the end of 2016. Results: Data for 2266 participants were included (mean age: 47.9 years; 54.4% women). Maximum follow-up was 43 months. In terms of work ability, 38.4% had good scores, 38.2% moderate scores, and 23.4% poor scores. Fully adjusted analyses showed an increased risk of a disability pension in workers with poor (HR = 12.98; 95% CI 5.81–28.99) and moderate Work Ability Index scores (HR = 3.17; 95% CI 1.36–7.38) compared to workers with good or excellent scores. The risk of a rehabilitation measure was also significantly increased for workers with poor and moderate scores. In addition, poor scores were prospectively associated with a longer duration of sickness absence and unemployment benefits, and fewer employment days and less income from regular employment. Those with poor Work Ability Index scores also had a significantly increased risk of premature death. Conclusions: The Work Ability Index is a potential tool to identify individuals with previous long-term sickness absence having an increased risk of health-related exit and absence from work and poor work participation outcomes.
|Journal||International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 05.2021|
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)