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0332 The impact of organisational change on sickness absence: how much of the effects are mediated by workplace social capital?
  1. Johan Høy Jensen1,
  2. Theis Lange2,3,
  3. Esben Meulengracht Flachs1,
  4. Janne Skakon4,
  5. Naja Hulvej Rod5,
  6. Jens Peter Ellekilde Bonde1
  1. 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3The Centre for Statistical Science, Peking University, Peking, China
  4. 4Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. 5Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark


Objective Organisational change may negatively affect employees’ health and social capital. This study examined the magnitude of mediated effects from organisational change through social capital on long-term sickness absence (LSA) among public hospital workers.

Method In March 2014, 26.209 workers employed through January-December 2013 in the Capital Region of Denmark received a work-environment survey assessing social capital (84% responded). Social capital, measured using 8 self-reported items (collaboration, trust, and organisational justice) ranging 0-5/0-7 (low-high), was aggregated on work-unit level and categorised into quartiles. Organisational change (e.g., merger, layoff(s), and relocation) during July-December 2013 were recorded via surveys sent to all managers (58% responded). Monthly sickness-absence data of 2014 were obtained from regional salary registries (LSA:>28 days). Mediation was assessed using natural effects models nested on January-September 2014 and estimated the natural direct, indirect, and total effects from organisational change on LSA via social capital adjusting for age, gender, work-unit size, occupation, child- and health-proxies.

Results Exposure to merger or layoff(s) yielded significant adverse direct effects (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.12–1.58 and OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.30, respectively) and adverse indirect effects via social capital (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02–1.06 and OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03–1.05, respectively) on LSA (total effects: OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.17–1.64 and OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.05–1.36, respectively).

Surprisingly, exposure to relocation showed a protective direct effect (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.58–0.91), but a significant adverse indirect effect (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.03) on LSA (total effect: OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52–0.92).

Conclusion Social capital potentially mediates adverse effects from organisational change on LSA.

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