Effects of Presenteeism in Chronic Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders: Stay at Work is Validated

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The present study takes a new approach to understanding how presenteeism relates to chronic pain or disability patient outcomes.


The sample consisted of 2191 consecutive chronic disabling musculoskeletal disorder patients, classified as either presentees (N = 704), or absentees (N = 1487), who were admitted to a functional restoration program. The measures included medical evaluations, demographic data, psychiatric diagnoses at admission, an 1 year follow-up socioeconomic outcome assessment and validated questionnaires evaluating pain, depression, and function.


The findings revealed that patients classified as presentees were significantly more likely to complete the prescribed functional restoration treatment program, to return to work (full-duty or full-time), to retain work 1-year posttreatment, and not to have a decrease in job demand from preinjury to posttreatment.


Both employees and employers will benefit if the ill or injured employee stays at work postinjury in lieu of short- or long-term disability.

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