Sickness certification challenges the physician

Apr 26, 2011

Difficulties in assessing the patients work capacity, non-medical problems, and handling situations in which the patients have different opinions about the need for sick leave are some of the challenges that physicians meet in their daily work, according to a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet.

Physicians play an essential role in the process, and many of them experience related tasks as problematic. The overall aim of the current thesis by Dr Monika Engblom was to improve the understanding of sickness certification experienced as problematic by physicians in general practice and occupational health services, and to gain more knowledge about the frequency and severity of those problems. Four studies were conducted, two of which were based on written cases reports by Swedish physicians, one on discussions of those reports, and one on questionnaire data. All information about the patients was made anonymous.

The results showed that two thirds of the patients had been on for more than a year. It was also found that the most common type of cases concerned women, who were employed in non-qualified nursing occupations and were on sick leave due to psychiatric diagnoses. Furthermore, the most common measures taken by the physician were referrals to a psychotherapist and/or , and prescribing .

In their written case reports, the physicians' personal and emotional involvement and their relations with the patient were visible to varying extents. Examples of situations reported as challenging were when the patients' problem was perceived as not being medical in nature, when there was a discrepancy between how the patient described the problems and what the physician apprehended, and when the physician perceived that the main problem was the iatrogenic of sick leave per se.

Explore further: Continued reliance on Windows XP in physician practices may threaten data security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Flexible workplaces reduce rate of sickness absence

May 29, 2007

People with fun and stimulating jobs, and who are able to adapt their workplace to their needs, have a lower rate of sickness absence and more often go to work despite being ill. This also applies to workplaces with heavy ...

Going to Work When Sick May Lead to Future Absences

Jun 10, 2009

Employees who often go to work despite feeling sick have higher rates of future work absences due to illness, according to a study in the June Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the ...

Can non-medical factors trigger sick leave?

Mar 23, 2011

According to UK government statistics over 8 million working days per year are lost due to illness and about a third of these are due to minor ailments such as coughs, colds, sickness and diarrhea. Yet two individuals who ...

Poor leadership poses a health risk at work

Nov 02, 2009

Perceived poor managerial leadership increases not only the amount of sick leave taken at a workplace, but also the risk of sickness amongst employees later on in life. The longer a person has had a "poorer" manager, the ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

Classifying cognitive styles across disciplines

Educators have tried to boost learning by focusing on differences in learning styles. Management consultants tout the impact that different decision-making styles have on productivity. Various fields have ...

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...