Table 3

Rate ratios for spells of sickness absence (1991–1998) by psychiatric morbidity at phases 1 and 2 and both phases

Sickness absenceGHQ casenessRate ratio (95% CI)
Men (n=3638)Women (n=1466)
Model 1*Model 2Model 3Model 1*Model 2Model 3
Psychiatric long spellsPhase 1 caseness1.68 (1.16 to 2.43)1.41 (0.95 to 2.10)1.22 (0.82 to 1.83)1.84 (1.24 to 2.73)1.66 (1.10 to 2.51)1.43 (0.93 to 2.18)
Phase 2 caseness2.24 (1.57 to 3.18)1.94 (1.34 to 2.81)1.67 (1.14 to 2.43)1.39 (0.93 to 2.06)1.16 (0.77 to 1.75)1.05 (0.69 to 1.58)
Neither1.01.01.01.01.01.0
Phase 1 only2.03 (1.19 to 3.45)1.75 (1.01 to 3.01)1.48 (0.86 to 2.57)2.49 (1.46 to 4.25)2.30 (1.34 to 3.94)1.97 (1.14 to 3.40)
Phase 2 only2.79 (1.76 to 4.42)2.45 (1.52 to 3.93)2.08 (1.29 to 3.35)1.67 (0.97 to 2.87)1.44 (0.84 to 2.49)1.34 (0.78 to 2.31)
Both phases2.40 (1.53 to 3.81)1.99 (1.20 to 3.30)1.65 (0.98 to 2.71)1.81 (1.09 to 3.01)1.49 (0.87 to 2.55)1.23 (0.70 to 2.14)
Non-psychiatric long spellsPhase 1 caseness1.16 (0.99 to 1.34)1.12 (0.96 to 1.31)0.92 (0.78 to 1.07)1.07 (0.91 to 1.27)1.06 (0.89 to 1.26)0.91 (0.76 to 1.07)
Phase 2 caseness1.29 (1.12 to 1.49)1.23 (1.06 to 1.43)1.07 (0.92 to 1.24)1.06 (0.90 to 1.25)1.06 (0.90 to 1.26)0.94 (0.80 to 1.11)
Neither1.01.01.01.01.01.0
Phase 1 only1.12 (0.91 to 1.39)1.10 (0.89 to 1.37)0.94 (0.76 to 1.17)1.10 (0.86 to 1.39)1.10 (0.87 to 1.40)0.96 (0.76 to 1.21)
Phase 2 only1.32 (1.09 to 1.60)1.26 (1.04 to 1.53)1.15 (0.95 to 1.39)1.08 (0.87 to 1.35)1.10 (0.88 to 1.37)1.01 (0.82 to 1.25)
Both phases1.31 (1.08 to 1.58)1.25 (1.03 to 1.53)0.96 (0.78 to 1.17)1.09 (0.88 to 1.34)1.07 (0.86 to 1.34)0.86 (0.69 to 1.08)
All diagnoses long spellsPhase 1 caseness1.27 (1.11 to 1.45)1.20 (1.04 to 1.38)1.00 (0.87 to 1.15)1.18 (1.01 to 1.37)1.16 (0.99 to 1.35)0.99 (0.86 to 1.16)
Phase 2 caseness1.44 (1.26 to 1.65)1.36 (1.18 to 1.56)1.17 (1.02 to 1.34)1.12 (0.97 to 1.30)1.10 (0.95 to 1.28)0.99 (0.85 to 1.14)
Neither1.01.01.01.01.01.0
Phase 1 only1.29 (1.06 to 1.57)1.25 (1.02 to 1.52)1.07 (0.89 to 1.30)1.23 (1.00 to 1.52)1.24 (1.01 to 1.54)1.08 (0.88 to 1.32)
Phase 2 only1.54 (1.29 to 1.84)1.46 (1.22 to 1.75)1.31 (1.10 to 1.56)1.14 (0.93 to 1.39)1.15 (0.94 to 1.40)1.05 (0.87 to 1.27)
Both phases1.48 (1.24 to 1.76)1.38 (1.15 to 1.66)1.07 (0.89 to 1.29)1.20 (0.99 to 1.45)1.17 (0.96 to 1.42)0.96 (0.79 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.