PhD Project: Assessing the relationship between presenteeism and mental health

University of Sheffield - School of Health & Related Research

Health has an impact on individuals’ ability to work either by preventing work (absenteeism) or having an impact on the quality of their work (presenteeism), which overall contribute to productivity loss. Estimating health-related productivity losses is crucial for identifying the impact of poor health on work as well as the impact of management practices and interventions, both in the work place and externally such as from the health sector.

Estimates of productivity losses are typically large e.g. as noted, absenteeism due to ill-health has been estimated at 140 million working days per year with substantial cost to employers and government1 with international evidence suggesting that presenteeism estimates are between 1.9 and 6.8 times absenteeism rates2. Presenteeism, where individuals are less productive at work due to poor health, is not routinely assessed in the United Kingdom (UK) but it has the potential to have a large impact particularly for mental health2. The aim of this project will be to investigate the link between presenteeism and mental health in order to broaden the evidence-base required by employers and government for decision making in the UK context.

The study will include systematically reviewing the existing literature, assessing and potentially generating new ways to measure presenteeism and linking presenteeism estimates to mental health using existing and new data using modelling techniques. The results are expected to add to the international literature in presenteeism with specific focus on the UK where this data information is not available. Results linking health to presenteeism will also aid in the estimation of the impact of work-related interventions which are aimed at managing poor mental health.

Reference List

(1) Black CD, Frost D. Health at work-an independent review of sickness absence. 8205 ed. The Stationery Office; 2011.

(2) Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. Mental Health at Work: Developing the business case. Policy Paper 8. 2007. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

Ref Type: Report

Entry Requirements
Candidates must have a first or upper second class honors degree or significant research experience.

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Northern England