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Table 1 Distribution of sickness absence spells and occupational groups by age, gender and self-reported general health

From: Socioeconomic status and duration and pattern of sickness absence. A 1-year follow-up study of 2331 hospital employees

  Total Age Women Fair or poor general health
   mean (SD) n (%)1) n (%)1)
Sickness absence     
No absence 442 44 (11) 344 (78) 15 (3.4)
Any absence 1889 43 (10) 1610 (85) 106 (5.6)
Any short spells (1-3 days) 1693 43 (10) 1443 (85) 97 (5.7)
Any medium spells (4-14 days) 1034 43 (10) 884 (85) 69 (6.7)
Any long spells (>14 days) 209 45 (10) 190 (91) 24 (12)
"Normal" absence pattern2) 970 45 (10) 814 (84) 38 (3.9)
"Abnormal" absence pattern3) 919 42 (10) 796 (87) 68 (7.4)
Occupational group     
Doctors4) 258 45 (10) 109 (42 ) 7 (2.7)
Physiotherapists5) 294 45 (10) 281 (96 ) 24 (8.2)
Nurses 710 41 (10) 681 (96 ) 20 (2.8)
Medical secretaries6) 328 45 (11) 311 (95) 21 (6.4)
Nursing assistants 491 45 (10) 424 (86) 25 (5.1)
Cleaners/porters7) 250 44 (11) 148 (59) 24 (9.6)
  1. 1) Percent of total
  2. 2) Any absence, but no more than two short, one medium and one long spell, and altogether no more than three spells of any length
  3. 3) More than either two short spells, one medium spell or one long spell, or more than three spells of any length
  4. 4) Doctors, dentists, psychologists and other academic staff
  5. 5) Physiotherapists, midwives, medical laboratory technologists, social workers and alike
  6. 6) Medical secretaries, office, IT and administrative workers
  7. 7) Cleaning personal, hospital porters, and various assistants