Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
Sickness absence among health workers in belo horizonte, brazil
Iara BassiAda Ávila AssunçãoAdriano Marçal PimentaFernando G. BenavidesMonica Ubalde-Lopez
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2016 Volume 58 Issue 2 Pages 179-185


Objectives: To describe the prevalence of sickness absence and to analyze factors associated with the outcome according to gender in a sample of healthcare workers at the Belo Horizonte Health Department. Method: This study was based on a Belo Horizonte Health Department survey carried out between September 2008 and January 2009. From a randomly selected sample of 2,205 workers, 1,808 agreed to participate. Workers were classified into Health Staff or Health Care. Other explanatory variables were social and demographic data, work characteristics, and personal health. The Poisson regression was applied to analyze factors associated with sickness absence by the prevalence ratio (PR). Results: The overall prevalence of sickness absence was 31.5% (23.8% for men and 34.6% for women). In the final model, we found higher rates of sickness absence in both male and female workers involved in tasks with high psychosocial demands (PR=1.86 men; PR=1.38 women) and in those that reported using medication for treating chronic diseases (PR=1.96 men; PR=1.50 women). Women having a permanent job contract had a higher prevalence of sickness absence than those having a temporary job contract (PR=1.71). Conclusion: Our findings suggest a paradox in how healthcare is organized: good results in terms of its global objective of providing healthcare for citizens contrast with lack of effective measures for protecting healthcare workers.

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2016 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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