The predictive role of sickness absence spell durations in associations with inpatient- and specialized outpatient care among a population-based Swedish twin sample

Annina Ropponen, Mo Wang, Jurgita Narusyte, Sanna Kärkkäinen, Victoria Blom, Pia Svedberg
2021 BMC Health Services Research  
Background The associations between a sickness absence spell duration and patient care have been rarely studied. An assumption is that associations would differ by spell duration and by the patient care type, inpatient- or specialized outpatient, due to severity of diseases and/or conditions. We aimed to investigate sickness absence spells in various spell durations as a predictor for subsequent inpatient- and specialized outpatient care separately, and to study if familial confounding plays a
more » ... onfounding plays a role in these associations. Methods We followed a population-based sample of Swedish twins born 1925–90 with national registers from 2001 for first incident sickness absence spell (days to calculate spell duration categorized into ≤30 days, 31–90 days, 91–180 days and ≥ 181 days), or no sickness absence, and for inpatient- and specialized outpatient care until 2013 (n = 24,975). Cox proportional hazards models were applied for hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) while accounting for covariates and familial confounding. Results First incident sickness absence spell across all duration categories was associated with an increased risk of inpatient- (age- and sex adjusted HR 1.28 to 6.05) or specialized outpatient care (HR 1.17–2.50), both in comparison to those without any sickness absence or the shortest sickness absence spell category (1–30 days). The associations remained statistically significant while controlling for covariates or familial confounding. Conclusions First incident sickness absence spell increases the risk of inpatient care or specialized outpatient care regardless of the duration of the sickness absence spell. Hence, incident sickness absence spells should be noted and targeted to actions at workplaces as well as in primary and occupational health care.
doi:10.1186/s12913-021-06310-w pmid:33827571 fatcat:dk5h2nyylbedpilxw2oojrnoa4