Factors associated with presenteeism among employed Australian adults reporting lifetime major depression with 12-month symptoms
Cocker, F and Martin, A and Scott, J and Venn, A and Otahal, P and Sanderson, K, Factors associated with presenteeism among employed Australian adults reporting lifetime major depression with 12-month symptoms , Journal of Affective Disorders, 135, (1-3) pp. 231-240. ISSN 0165-0327 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Background: Employees experiencing depression can take a sickness absence or continueworking
(‘presenteeism’). However, little is known about the factors associatedwith these behaviorswithin
this population. This study aimed to determine the relative importance of socio-demographic,
financial, work and health-related factors associated with presenteeism.
Methods: The 2007 Australian National Survey ofMental Health and Wellbeing provided data from
employed individuals reporting lifetime major depression with 12-month symptoms (N=320).
Survey adjusted multivariable logistic regression assessed classification of 12-month, depressionrelated
presenteeism on the basis of socio-demographic, financial, work and health factors.
Results: Acceptable classification of cases was 70% or greater. Classification of cases based on sociodemographic
factors, age, sex and marital status, was reasonable (62%). Adding work factors
(work hours and occupation type) produced a 1% increase in successfully classified cases (63%).
Health factors further increased correctly classified cases (67%).Marital status, housing tenure and
co-morbid mental disorders were important indicators of presenteeism behavior.
Limitations: Work-related variables were restricted to available measures. Potentially important
psychosocial work environment factors were unavailable. Cross-sectional data precluded causal
Conclusions: Using available factors,model discrimination did not reach an acceptable level i.e. 70%
of presenteeism cases successfully classified. This highlighted the contribution of unmeasured
factors to presenteeism behavior. Future research should explore the relative importance of
psychosocial work environment and personality factors such as work demands, effort/reward
imbalance and conscientiousness. The identified associations between socio-demographic,
financial and health factors on work attendance behaviors could inform disease management
guidelines for employers via recognition of employees at risk of presenteeism.
Depression, Absenteeism, Presenteeism, Workplace, Employees, Working population