Does Workplace Bullying Affect Long-Term Sickness Absence Among Co-Workers?

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  • Åse Marie Hansen, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen (Åse Marie Hansen, Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup, Anne Helene Garde, Reiner Rugulies); The National Research Centre for the Working Environment (Åse Marie Hansen, Anne Helene Garde, Reiner Rugulies); Department of Neurology, Nordsjællands Hospital, Hillerød, Denmark (Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup); Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Frederiksberg and Bispebjerg Hospital (Jens Peter Bonde, Sigurd Mikkelsen, Jane Frølund Thomsen); Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen (Paul Maurice Conway, Reiner Rugulies, Annie Hogh); Research Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark (Linda Kaerlev); Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Odense University Hospital (Linda Kaerlev); Department of Occupational Medicine, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark (Henrik A. Kolstad, Morten Willert).
  • ,
  • Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Jens Peter Bonde, Arbejds- og Miljømedicinsk Afdeling - Bispebjerg Hospital
  • ,
  • Paul Maurice Conway
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  • Anne Helene Garde
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  • Linda Kaerlev, Forskningesenheden for klinisk epidemiologi, SDU
  • ,
  • Henrik A Kolstad
  • Sigurd Mikkelsen
  • ,
  • Reiner Rugulies
  • ,
  • Jane Frølund Thomsen
  • ,
  • Morten Willert
  • Annie Hogh

AIM: To examine if non-bullied employees at work units (WUs) with workplace bullying have more long-term sickness absence (LTSA) than employees in non-bullying WUs.

METHODS: We included 7229 public health employees from 302 WUs and 3158 responders to a questionnaire on working conditions and health in 2007. WUs were classified into three categories of WUs; 1) no bullying (0% bullied); 2) moderate prevalence of bullying (<10% bullied); and 3) high prevalence of bullying (≥10% bullied). LTSA (≥30 consecutive days of sickness absence) during the following two years was obtained by linkage to the Danish register of sickness absence compensation benefits and social transfer payments.

RESULTS: Non-bullied co-workers in WUs, where bullying was reported had 15 to 22% more LTSA compared with non-bullying WUs.

CONCLUSION: Workplace bullying may be associated with LTSA in the entire WU.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Pages (from-to)132–137
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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ID: 119189466