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Sick-Leave due to Psychiatric Disorder: Higher Incidence among Women and Longer Duration for Men

  • Gunnel Hensing (a1), Kristina Alexanderson (a1), Peter Allebeck (a1) and Per Bjurulf (a2)

Women take sick-leave more often than men, both in general and because of psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present study was to introduce the new dimension of sick-leave duration in the analysis of gender differences in minor psychiatric disorders.


A population-based register was used which included all sick-leave spells exceeding seven consecutive days, 1985–1987, in a Swedish county.


Sick-leave duration was longer for men. The greatest gender differences were found in the youngest and oldest age-groups. Women had higher incidence also in the longest spells. An increase in duration over the three years was found among women, leading to decreased gender differences.


Contrary to other studies on minor psychiatric disorders, small gender differences were found. It is suggested that sick-leave duration can be used as a quantitative measure of health-related working capacity.

Corresponding author
Dr Gunnel Hensing, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, S-581/85 Linköping, Sweden
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Sick-Leave due to Psychiatric Disorder: Higher Incidence among Women and Longer Duration for Men

  • Gunnel Hensing (a1), Kristina Alexanderson (a1), Peter Allebeck (a1) and Per Bjurulf (a2)
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