Predicting work absenteeism and presenteeism in young adults

Beales D, Larsson ME, O'Sullivan P, Straker L, Linton SJ, Smith A. 01 Dec 2021 J Occup Environ Med; 63(12):1058-1064.

Publication date: 01 Dec 2021

Keywords: absenteeism, musculoskeletal, pain, presenteeism, work productivity

What is already known about this subject:

  • Health conditions are known to negatively impact work productivity.
  • Risk based screening is considered important to management of people with work related muscle or bone pain.
  • It is not known if a commonly used musculoskeletal screening tool can identify those at risk of poor work productivity.
  • This study aimed to evaluate the predictive ability of the Orebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire.

What this study adds

  • Young adults of Raine Study Generation 2 provided information on their current pain and answered the screening questionnaire at the 22 year followup, and provided information on their absenteeism (missing work) and presenteeism (at work but not able to work at full capacity) over the following 12 months.
  • The screening tool provided some prediction of later work absenteeism, but further work is needed to enhance its fidelity.
  • The productivity of young people is of increasing importance in an aging population, so being able to keep young adults healthy, and assist those at risk for poor productivity is important for a productive society.
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