Presentation T O8

T O8 (Oral Presentation):
In-depth study of the workers’ perspectives to enhance sustainable working life for workers with and without a chronic health condition

Presented by: Wendy Koolhaas

Authors

Koolhaas W1, Van der Klink JJL1, Vervoort JPM1, De Boer MR2, Brouwer S1, Groothoff JW1

  1. Department of Health Sciences, Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen
  2. Department of Health Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract

Background

Mobilising the full potential of older people is a key response to those demographic changes, which require the promotion of a healthy working life. To gain in-depth understanding of the number and type of experienced ageing problems, obstacles to perform work tasks, retention factors to maintain work and support needs to continue working life in the next years among workers aged 45 years and older with and without a chronic health condition.

Methods

A survey of workers’ perspectives on problems, obstacles, retention factors and needs due to ageing was carried out in 3,008 workers aged 45 years and older in nine different companies representing four different sectors (health care, education, government and industry). Self-constructed dichotomous (yes/no) questions and open-ended questions were used. To classify the obstacles, retention factors and support needs the International Classification of Functioning and disability (ICF) is used.

Results

Older workers with a chronic health condition reported more problems due to ageing (56 vs 34 %; p<.001), more obstacles (42 vs 16 %; p<.001) and more needs (51 vs 31 %; p<.001) compared to those without a chronic health condition. The mean number of problems, obstacles and needs reported per person were higher for workers with a chronic health condition compared to workers without a chronic health condition, i.e. problems due to ageing (1.88 vs 1.74), obstacles (1.93 vs 1.62) and support needs (1.51 vs 1.41). No relevant differences were found on type of experienced problems, obstacles, retention factors and needs between both groups. Problems and obstacles were found on physiological and psychological functions (e.g. energy level, working schedules). Retention factors and needs to enhance sustainable working life were particularly reported on work-related environmental factors (e.g. forming relationships, task reduction).

Conclusions

Because workers with a chronic health condition experienced more problems, obstacles and needs, the largest gain of occupational intervention can be achieved in these workers. Interventions aimed to enhance a sustainable working life of older workers can be similar in content for persons with and without chronic health conditions and should have a central focus on work-related factors.

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