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Title: Nurses' illness perceptions during presenteeism and absenteeism
Authors: Fiorini, Luke
Houdmont, Jonathan
Griffiths, Amanda
Keywords: Absenteeism (Labor)
Presentism (Philosophy)
Sick -- Psychology
Nurses -- Malta
Sick leave -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Fiorini, L. A., Houdmont, J., & Griffiths, A. (2020). Nurses’ illness perceptions during presenteeism and absenteeism. Occupational Medicine, 70(2), 101-106.
Abstract: Background: Presenteeism has been linked with lost productivity, impaired health and absence. Whilst much research has focused on types of diseases associated with presenteeism and absenteeism, there has been little investigation into the role of individuals’ illness perceptions in these episodes.
Aims: To assess how illness perceptions vary between presenteeism and absenteeism episodes.
Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire was distributed to ward-based nurses working with older adults. Data on illness perceptions during presenteeism and absenteeism episodes were collected. Data were analysed via the Paired-Samples t-test, Wilcoxon test and McNemar test.
Results: Two hundred and seventy cases were analysed (88% response rate). Compared with presenteeism, illnesses during absenteeism were thought to affect lives more (P < 0.001), to have more serious symptoms (P < 0.001), to be more concerning (P = 0.003), more likely to be treated (P = 0.009), more infectious (P < 0.001) and perceived as more legitimate reasons for absenteeism (P < 0.001). Treatment was considered more effective during absenteeism (P < 0.001), whilst workability was better during presenteeism (P < 0.001). Presenteeism was perceived as harmful and absenteeism beneficial for illness. Individuals attended work when presenteeism was expected to be less harmful (P < 0.001) and avoided work when absenteeism was expected to be more beneficial for illness (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Illness perceptions varied significantly between presenteeism and absenteeism episodes and should be included in models of illness behaviour. Findings also highlight that policy may influence illness behaviour and that nurses may attend work despite concerning levels of illness.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - CenLS

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