Document Type: Original Article
Center for Research on Occupational Diseases, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Background: Absence from work for health reasons is known as “sickness absenteeism”. Frequent sick leave is a major concern to any organization, especially hospitals.
Objective: This study analyzed the extent and causes of sickness absenteeism in a teaching hospital and evaluated its corelation with demographic and occupational factors.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, data was extracted from computerized records regarding sickness absenteeism of healthcare workers (HCWs) in the Occupational Health Department of a teaching hospital in Tehran. Studied variables included demographic characteristics, occupational factors, and causes of sickness absenteeism. The sickness absence rate (SAR) and absence frequency rate (AFR) in the study period were calculated. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used for the comparison of categorical and quantitative variables, respectively.
Results: In the current study, SAR and AFR were 0.011 and 0.68, respectively. Job type was the only factor that had a significant correlation with sickness absenteeism. The major disease-causing sicknesses were flu (21%) and musculoskeletal disorders (18.9%).
Conclusion: A significant relationship was found between the nursing group and sickness absence episodes. Flu, musculoskeletal disorders, and infectious diseases were the most frequent causes of sickness absence. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that factors such as availability of the flu vaccine and providing principles of personal protection and infection control can reduce sickness absence due to infectious disease.