Presentation T O7

T O7 (Oral Presentation):
Quality of Working Life issues of employees with a chronic physical disease - a systematic review

Presented by: Merel de Jong

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Authors

De Jong M1, De Boer AGEM1, Tamminga SJ1, Frings-Dresen MHW1

  1. Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract

Background

Employees with a chronic physical disease are less likely to be employed. This is unfortunate since having work provides them with financial resources, a sense of normality and work contributes to Quality of Life. How employees with a chronic disease experience their employment and what contributes to their Quality of Working Life (QWL) has seldom been taken into account. Previous research in healthy employees shows that high QWL is associated with lower levels of turnover intentions. The purpose of this study was to assess issues that contribute to the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease.

Methods

A systematic literature search was conducted using the databases PubMed, PsycINFO and EMBASE. Experiences and perceptions during the working life of employees with a chronic physical disease were extracted and synthesized into issues that contributed to their QWL. We organized these synthesized QWL issues into higher order themes and categories with qualitative data analysis software.

Results

The search was conducted on articles published between January 1988 - January 2014. From a total of 4044 articles identified by the search, 61 articles were included. Data extraction and data synthesis resulted in an overview of 73 QWL issues that were classified into 30 themes. The following five categories of themes that contribute to the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease were identified: 1) job characteristics with issues such as job flexibility and work-site access; 2) the social structure and environment containing issues about disclosure, discrimination, misunderstanding, and awareness by employers or colleagues; 3) organizational characteristics with issues such as requesting work accommodations; 4) individual work perceptions including issues about enjoyment and evaluating work or life priorities; and 5) effect of the disease and treatment including issues about cognitive and physical health and work ability.

Conclusions

This systematic review offers an extensive overview of issues that possibly contributed to the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease. This overview may function as a starting point for occupational support, such as monitoring and evaluating the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease during return-to-work and work continuation processes.

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
10:45 - 12:15 Morning Concurrent Sessions (T O1 - T O12 and Seminar 4)
Session: Work disability in ageing workers
Room A