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AbstractIntroduction: Presenteeism is defined as continuing to attend work during illness. As a growing health concern, awareness of the factors that encourage presenteeism and the risks of this behaviour is needed. Sources of data: A narrative review of research obtained via several databases, including Medline and Psycinfo, was conducted. Areas of agreement: A range of contextual and individual factors is associated with presenteeism. Workers in some sectors, such as healthcare, appear to be at greater risk. Presenteeism may facilitate rehabilitation and recovery but it can exacerbate existing health problems and increase the risk of subsequent illness and absence as well as impair workability. Areas of controversy: The incidence of sickness presenteeism is rising, alongside reductions in absenteeism. The growing awareness of the costs of presenteeism, especially in safety-critical environments, suggests that it should be considered a risk-taking behaviour and carefully measured and managed. Growing points and areas for developing research: Measuring presenteeism as well as absenteeism will provide more accurate information about employee health. Raising awareness of the risks of working while sick and the economic, moral, cultural and social pressures on employees to do so appears crucial. Systemic interventions to manage presenteeism based on research evidence are required.
CitationKinman G. (2019) 'Sickness presenteeism at work: prevalence, costs and management', British Medical Bulletin, 129 (1), pp.69-78.
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
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