Objectives The workforce is shrinking, as more people retire than start their career. It is therefore important to maintain older workers in the workforce. The prevalence of chronic disease increases with age. It is unknown whether predictors of prolonged work participation differ between workers with and without chronic disease. The aim of this study was to investigate differences and similarities in predictors of prolonged work participation in workers aged 55+ years with and without chronic disease.
Methods All workers aged 55–62 years were selected from the 2002–2003 cohort of the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (n = 333). Potential predictors at baseline were: health, personality, work characteristics, and demographics. Per potential predictor, a logistic regression coefficient for involvement in paid work in 2005/2006 was calculated, separately for workers with and without chronic disease. Next, a pooled estimate was constructed. Using a χ2 test for coefficients, differences between the pooled estimate and the coefficients were tested.
Results The prevalence of chronic disease was 59% and 67% was still involved in paid work three years later. Follow up data was available of 316 workers (95%). Physical workload (χ2: 5.37;DF = 1) and psychosocial resources at work (χ2: 5.94; DF1 = ) differed between the groups with and without chronic disease. More psychosocial resources (OR = 3.57; 95% CI:1.33–10.0) were predictive for prolonged work participation in workers with chronic disease only. ΧAge, working hours/week, no functional limitations, depressive symptoms, neuroticism, and sense of mastery were significantly associated with prolonged work participation in workers with and without chronic disease.
Conclusions Predictors of prolonged work participation were similar for workers with and without chronic diseases, except for physical workload and psychosocial resources at work. This implies that differences between workers with and without chronic disease exist, and that these should be taken into account when identifying high risk groups regarding exit from the workforce.
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