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Promoting Excellent Work Ability and Preventing Poor Work Ability: The Same Determinants? Results from the Swedish HAKuL Study

P. Lindberg, M. Josephson, L. Alfredsson and E. Vingȧrd
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Feb., 2006), pp. 113-120
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27732682
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Promoting Excellent Work Ability and Preventing Poor Work Ability: The Same Determinants? Results from the Swedish HAKuL Study
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Abstract

Aim: Health has been described as a continuum between the two poles of excellent health and ill health. Research has so far focused on the negative pole, leaving knowledge about the positive pole vague. With a main focus on working life, the authors aim was to identify determinants promoting excellent work ability and determinants preventing poor work ability. Methods: 5638 (73% answering rate) employees in the public sector in Sweden answered a questionnaire both at baseline and at follow up 18 months later. The employees were divided into three groups based on sick leave at follow up: excellent work ability (13%), poor work ability (15%), and a middle group (72%). Self reported sociodemographic data, lifestyle data, and working life exposures at baseline were fitted into logistic regression models to determine which factors, if any, promoted excellent work ability or protected against poor work ability. Results: Some determinants were mutual, but more than half of the determinants in the final model were associated solely with promoting excellent work ability or preventing poor work ability, thus creating different patterns of associations. Promotion of excellent work ability seemed more dependent on physical factors, clear work tasks, and positive feedback, while prevention of poor work ability seemed more dependent on job security and psychosocial factors. Conclusions: This explorative longitudinal study showed slightly different patterns of determinants promoting excellent work ability and preventing poor work ability. As most of the identified determinants are amenable to influence, our results open up the possibility of interventions for promoting excellent work ability and preventing poor work ability.

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