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  • September 2016

    Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Ireland: Evidence from the QNHS 2002–2013

    Helen Russell, Bertrand Maître and Dorothy Watson

    RESEARCH SERIES NUMBER 53

  • Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Ireland: Evidence from the QNHS 2002–2013

    Helen Russell, Bertrand Maître and Dorothy Watson

    RESEARCH SERIES

    NUMBER 53

    September 2016

    Available to download from www.esri.ie

    © The Economic and Social Research Institute

    Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2

    ISBN 978 0 7070 0 0406 8

    http://www.esri.ie/

  • The ESRI The Economic Research Institute was founded in Dublin in 1960, with the assistance of a grant from

    the Ford Foundation of New York. In 1966 the remit of the Institute was expanded to include social

    research, resulting in it being renamed The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). In 2010 the

    Institute entered into a strategic research alliance with Trinity College Dublin, while retaining its status

    as an independent research institute.

    The ESRI is governed by an independent Council, which acts as the board of the Institute with

    responsibility for guaranteeing its independence and integrity. The Institute’s research strategy is

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    http://www.esri.ie/

  • The Authors Helen Russell is an Associate Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

    and an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin. She is Deputy Head of the Social Research division

    at the ESRI and is the Principal Investigator on the joint ESRI/HSA Research Programme on Health,

    Safety and Well-being at Work. Bertrand Maître is a Senior Research Officer at the Economic and Social

    Research Institute and Adjunct at Trinity College Dublin. Dorothy Watson is an Associate Research

    Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College

    Dublin.

    Acknowledgements This report is published as part of the ESRI and Health and Safety Authority (HSA) Research Programme

    on Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work. The authors are grateful to the members of the ESRI/HSA

    research steering group, Nuala Flavin (HSA), Robert Roe (HSA), Sharon McGuiness (HSA), Anne

    Drummond (UCD), James Phelan (UCD and HSA) and Anne Nolan (ESRI), who gave generously of their

    time and expertise and provided helpful discussions and comments throughout the research and

    drafting process. The final draft of the report was also enhanced by insightful comments from ESRI

    reviewers and members of the HSA occupational health team – Patricia Murray, Kieran Sludds and

    Frank Power. Oona Kenny (ESRI) provided invaluable research assistance in preparing the report for

    publication.

    The study relies on data from the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS), which was collected

    by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). We are grateful to the CSO, particularly to Felix Coleman, for the

    preparation and provision of the micro-data. Neither the CSO nor the funder are responsible for the

    content or the views expressed in the report, which remain the sole responsibility of the authors. The

    Department of Social Protection provided information on occupational injury benefits (OIB) and we

    would like to thank Gary Foster for his help with the figures and related queries. Herbert Mulligan of

    the Health and Safety Review also very generously helped with sourcing historical figures on OIB

    claims.

    This report has been accepted for publication by the Institute, which does not itself take institutional policy positions. All ESRI Research Series reports are peer reviewed prior to publication. The authors are solely responsible for the content and the views expressed.

  • Tabl e o f con t en ts iv

    Table of Contents

    ACRONYMS ............................................................................................................................................ VI EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................... VII CHAPTER 1 WORK-RELATED ILLNESS IN IRELAND: OVERVIEW AND DATA SOURCES ......................... 1

    1.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 1 1.2 Concepts and Definitions ............................................................................................................................. 2 1.3 Data and Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 5 1.4 Validity of Self-reported Illnesses ................................................................................................................ 8 1.5 Limitations .................................................................................................................................................... 8

    CHAPTER 2 TRENDS IN ILLNESS TYPES 2002 TO 2013 ......................................................................... 11

    2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 11 2.2 Work-related Illness Trends ....................................................................................................................... 12 2.3 Illness Type by Gender ............................................................................................................................... 15 2.4 Trends in Illness in Europe ......................................................................................................................... 16 2.5 Summary .................................................................................................................................................... 21

    CHAPTER 3 PREDICTORS OF WORK-RELATED MSD AND SAD ILLNESSES .......................................... 23

    3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 23 3.2 Characteristics of those Reporting Work-related MSD and SAD, 2002–2013 ............................................ 23 3.3 Duration of Absence ................................................................................................................................... 27 3.4 Modelling the Risk of Musculoskeletal Work-related Illnesses ................................................................. 29 3.5 Modelling the Risk of Work-related SAD Illnesses ..................................................................................... 35 3.6 Summary .................................................................................................................................................... 39

    CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSIONS AND LESSONS FOR POLICY, PRACTICE AND MEASUREMENT ................. 41

    4.1 Main Findings ............................................................................................................................................. 41 4.2 Lessons for Measurement of Work-related MSD and SAD Illnessses ........................................................ 43 4.3 Lessons for Policy and Practice ................................................................................................................... 45

    REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................... 49 APPENDICES .......................................................................................................................................... 55

    APPENDIX 1: Alternative Sources of Information on Work-related Illness ...................................................... 55 APPENDIX 2: Question Wording in QNHS Module ........................................................................................... 58 APPENDIX 3: Additional Tables and Figures ......................................................................

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