Days out of role due to common physical and mental conditions: results from the Northern Ireland study of health and stress

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Purpose: Days out of role due to health problems are a major source of lost human capital. We examined the relative importance of common physical and mental disorders in accounting for days out of role in Northern Ireland using the Northern Ireland Study of Health and Stress (NISHS) WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey.Methods: Face-to-face interviews were carried out with 4340 respondents (68.4 % response rate). Multipleregression analysis estimated associations of specific chronic physical disorders and mental disorders conditions and comorbidities with days out of role controlling for basic socio-demographics.Results: Overall, 16.8 % of respondents had at least one day totally out of role in the previous year. The strongest population-level effect was associated with arthritis, which accounted for 23.5 % of all days out of role. The strongest individual-level effects (days out of role per year) were associated with any anxiety disorder (32.3) arthritis (26.1) and pain (22.0). The 11 conditions accounted for 93 % of all days out of role, as measured by population attributable risk proportions (PARPs).Conclusions: Common health conditions, including mental disorders, make up a large proportion of the number of days out of role and should be addressed to substantially increase overall productivity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1546
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number11
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

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  • Mental disorders
  • Chronic disease
  • Disability
  • Productivity loss
  • Prevalence
  • Burden of disease


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