The present study takes a new approach to understanding how presenteeism relates to chronic pain or disability patient outcomes.Methods:
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.Results:
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.Conclusions:
Both employees and employers will benefit if the ill or injured employee stays at work postinjury in lieu of short- or long-term disability.