Presentation M O29

M O29 (Oral Presentation):
Stakeholders assessment of patients on long term sickness absence

Presented by: Silje Maeland


Maeland S1,2, Magnussen LH2,3, Werner EL1, Eriksen HR1,4, Hensing G5

  1. Uni Health, Uni Research, Bergen
  2. Department of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Radiography, Bergen University College, Bergen
  3. Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Bergen
  4. Hemil, Research Centre for Health Promotion, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  5. Department of Social Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden



Long term sickness absence (LTSA) is a complex phenomenon. Individuals on medically certified LTSA mainly report multimorbid subjective health complaints (SHC) such as musculoskeletal and mental health problems. Communication and cooperation between stakeholders have been highlighted as critical to effectively manage LTSA. Therefore, exploring how different stakeholders assess the health, work ability, and need of sickness benefits in four patients with multimorbid SHC is of relevance.


Volunteers (N=529) representing stakeholders were recruited in a cross sectional survey in Norway in 2009/ 2010. They watched four video vignettes presenting patients with multimorbid SHC on, or at risk of LTSA, and assessed their health, work ability and need of sickness benefits. Workers and families: the public (n=259), were recruited through social media; employers (n=107), health care providers (HCP) (family physicians) (n=120), and the insurer (n=28), were recruited through courses. Results were analysed with multinomial and binary logistic regression analyses


Patient 1 was assessed, to mainly have mental health problems (50%), have good health by employers (OR1.76;CI1.02-3.06) compared to HCP. The public (OR.08;CI.03-.19) and the employers (OR.39;CI.16-.97) were less likely to go for 100% sickness absence compared to the HCP. Patient 2; musculoskeletal problems (46%), the public (OR3.9;CI1.89-8.20) and the insurer (OR3.06;CI1.08-8.62) were more likely to go for partial sickness absence compared to the HCP suggesting work. Patient 3; General and unspecified problems (58%), the insurer (OR.29;CI.12-.74) were less likely assess the health as good, and the public (OR.44;CI.19-.99) were less likely to go for 100% sickness absence, compared to the HCP. Patient 4; neurological problems (38%) were less likely to be assessed to have good health by the public (OR.32;CI.11-.91) compared to the HCP. The public (OR5.74;CI3.23-10.21), the employers (OR3.40;CI1.85-6.23), and the insurer (OR3.71;CI1.36-10.14), were more likely to go for 100% and partial sickness absence compared to the HCP. Overall, poor health and reduced work ability were significantly correlated in all four patients at .01 level (Pearsons correlations).


Stakeholders perceive patients with multimorbid SHC differently when it comes to health and need for sickness absence. Since communication is critical and stakeholders prioritize based on their understanding of a problem this may complicate the RTW process for patients on LTSA.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
15:45 - 17:15 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (M O25 - M O37 and Seminar 3)
Session: Long-term work disability
Room A