Health  Vol.8 No.14 , November 2016
Brief Screening Tools for Long-Term Sickness Absence Due to Mental Disorders in Public Servants
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mental disorders are often a cause of long-term sickness absence (LTSA). Kessler 6 (K6) and the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) are short mental health assessment questionnaires and widely used for assessing mental health in the workplace. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the screening performance of these tools for the prediction of LTSA due to mental disorders (LTSA-MD). METHODS: K6 and BJSQ were administered to 19,321 public servants, of whom 131 took LTSA-MD during the study period. A receiver operating characteristic curve was drawn to estimate the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity with optimal cut-off points for K6 and four BJSQ subscales (Job Stressors; Stress Responses; Social Support; and Job Stressors + Social Support). RESULTS: K6 showed the highest AUC, and K6 and the Stress Responses subscale of the BJSQ showed higher AUC and sensitivity than other BJSQ subscales. CONCLUSIONS: The psychological distress experienced at the time, i.e. K6 and the Stress Responses, was the best predictors of LTSA-MD. Using these instant effective tools will enable us to identify high-risk workers, employ suitable interventions to improve mental health at an early stage, and reduce the incidence of LTSA-MD.
Cite this paper: Ishimoto, H. , Iwasaki, S. and Inoue, K. (2016) Brief Screening Tools for Long-Term Sickness Absence Due to Mental Disorders in Public Servants. Health, 8, 1453-1464. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.814145.

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