Table 2

Rate ratios for spells of sickness absence (1991–1998) by psychiatric morbidity (GHQ categories) at phase 2

Sickness absencePhase 2 GHQ scoreRate ratio (95% CI)
Men (n=3638)Women (n=1466)
Model 1*Model 2 Model 3Model 1*Model 2Model 3
Psychiatric long spells0–21.01.01.01.01.01.0
3–41.08 (0.58 to 2.03)1.02 (0.54 to 1.93)0.99 (0.53 to 1.87)1.02 (0.53 to 1.95)0.94 (0.48 to 1.81)0.86 (0.45 to 1.66)
5+2.26 (1.57 to 3.25)1.95 (1.32 to 2.86)1.67 (1.13 to 2.46)1.39 (0.93 to 2.09)1.15 (0.75 to 1.75)1.02 (0.66 to 1.56)
Non-psychiatric long spells0–21.01.01.01.01.01.0
3–41.10 (0.88 to 1.37)1.08 (0.86 to 1.34)1.02 (0.82 to 1.27)1.16 (0.89 to 1.50)1.15 (0.88 to 1.48)1.11 (0.87 to 1.43)
5+1.31 (1.13 to 1.52)1.25 (1.07 to 1.46)1.07 (0.92 to 1.25)1.09 (0.92 to 1.29)1.09 (0.92 to 1.30)0.96 (0.81 to 1.14)
All diagnoses long spells0–21.01.01.01.01.01.0
3–41.16 (0.94 to 1.42)1.13 (0.92 to 1.38)1.07 (0.88 to 1.31)1.16 (0.92 to 1.46)1.13 (0.90 to 1.43)1.09 (0.87 to 1.36)
5+1.48 (1.29 to 1.69)1.39 (1.20 to 1.60)1.19 (1.03 to 1.37)1.15 (0.99 to 1.33)1.13 (0.96 to 1.31)1.00 (0.86 to 1.17)
  • * Model 1 adjusts for age and employment grade.

  • Model 2 adjusts for age, employment grade, work characteristics (decision latitude, job demands, work support, effort–reward imbalance), marital status, social support (confiding/emotional, practical, negative aspects, network outside household) and material problems.

  • Model 3 additionally adjusts for alcohol consumption, self-reported health, health problems in last year, presence of longstanding illness and presence of physical illness.

  • GHQ, General Health Questionnaire.