Document Type: Original Articles


1 Student Research Committee, Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Research Center for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Working conditions have considerably changed and exposure to psychosocial risk factors, particularly occupational stress, has recently had an increasing trend. Studies have shown that sickness absence was the worst outcome of occupational stress. The present study aimed to assess the relationship between dimensions of occupational stress and sickness absence in a gas company in Boushehr, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 400 employees of a gas company, Boushehr, Iran who were selected through random sampling. Osipow occupational stress questionnaire was used to determine the participants’ stress levels. Then, the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: The participants’ mean of sickness absence was 2.164.57± days per year. Besides, 1.5%, 32.5%, 36.3%, and 29.8% of the participants had low, low to moderate, moderate to severe, and severe occupational stress, respectively. Additionally, the mean of total stress was moderate to severe among the study participants. This was also the case concerning the stress dimensions. The results revealed a significant relationship between the number of sickness absences and dimensions of occupational stress, including workload, role insufficiency, role conflict, responsibility, physical environment, and total stress (P=0.0001). Conclusion: The majority of the employees had high levels of occupational stress. Besides, a significant association was observed between the dimensions of occupational stress and sickness absence. Accordingly, to decrease the number of sickness absence, we should take measures to reduce occupational stress.


  1. References
  2. Levy BS, Wegman DH. Occupational health: recognizing and preventing work-related disease and injury: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Philadelphia; 2000.
  3. Niedhammer I, Chastang J-F, Sultan-Taïeb H, Vermeylen G, Parent-Thirion A. Psychosocial work factors and sickness absence in 31 countries in Europe. Eur J Public Health 2013; 23(4): 622-9.
  4. Taverniers J, Smeets T, Bue SL, Syroit J, Van Ruysseveldt J, Pattyn N, et al. Visuo-spatial path learning, stress, and cortisol secretion following military cadets’ first parachute jump: The effect of increasing task complexity. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 2011; 11(3): 332-43.
  5. Barzideh M, Choobineh A, Tabatabaee H. Job stress dimensions and their relationship to musculoskeletal disorders in Iranian nurses. Work 2014; 47: 423-9.
  6. Lesuffleur T, Chastang JF, Sandret N, Niedhammer I. Psychosocial factors at work and sickness absence: Results from the French National SUMER Survey. Am J Ind Med 2014; 57(6): 695-708.
  7. Nakata A, Haratani T, Takahashi M, Kawakami N, Arito H, Kobayashi F, et al. Association of sickness absence with poor sleep and depressive symptoms in shift workers. Chronobiol Int 2004; 21(6): 899-912.
  8. Gaudine AP, Saks AM. Effects of an absenteeism feedback intervention on employee absence behavior. J Organ Behav 2001; 22(1): 15-29.
  9. Hacket RD. Work attitudes and employee absenteeism: A synthesis of the literature. Journal of Occupational Psychology 1989; 62(3): 235-48.
  10. Darr W, Johns G. Work strain, health, and absenteeism:
  11. a meta-analysis. J Occup Health Psychol 2008; 13(4):
  12. Kerr R, McHugh M, McCrory M. HSE Management Standards and stress-related work outcomes. Occup Med 2009; 59(8): 574-9.
  13. Trybou J, Germonpre S, Janssens H, Casini A, Braeckman L, Bacquer DD, et al. Job‐Related Stress and Sickness Absence Among Belgian Nurses: A Prospective Study. J Nurs Scholarsh 2014; 46(4): 292-301.
  14. Ryu IS, Jeong DS ,Kim IA, Roh JH, Won JU. Association Between Job Stress, Psychosocial Well- Being and Presenteeism, Absenteeism: Focusing on Railroad Workers. Korean Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2012; 24(3): 263-73.
  15. Vahtera J, Kivimäki M, Pentti J ,Theorell T. Effect of change in the psychosocial work environment on sickness absence: a seven year follow up of initially healthy employees. J Epidemiol Community Health 2000; 54(7): 484-93.
  16. Karasek R, Theorell T. Healthy work: stress, productivity, and the reconstruction of working life: Basic books; 1992.
  17. Waage S, Moen BE, Pallesen S, Eriksen HR, Ursin H. Shift work disorder among oil rig workers in the North Sea. Sleep 2009; 32(4): 558.
  18. Osipow SH, Spokane AR. Occupational stress inventory-revised. Odessa, FL: Psychological 1998: 1-15.
  19. Sharifian S, Aminian O, Kiyani M, Barouni S. The evaluation of the degree of occupational stress and factors influencing it in forensic physicians working in legal medicine organization intehran-autumn of 2005. Scientific Journal of Forensic Medicine 2006: 144-50.
  20. Khan S, Aw T. Auditing absence due to sickness. BMJ 1995; 310(6973): 195.
  21. Hoseinian H, Shirazi A. A Study on the Relationship between Job Stress and JobBurnout (At Headquarters Personnel of the Post Company). Applied Mathematics in Engineering, Management and Technology 2014; 2(3): 270-7.
  22. Sargent MC, Sotile W, Sotile MO, Rubash H, Barrack RL. Stress and coping among orthopaedic surgery residents and faculty. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2004; 86(7): 1579-86.
  23. Castelo-Branco C, Figueras F, Eixarch E, Quereda F, Cancelo M, Gonzalez S, et al. Stress symptoms and burnout in obstetric and gynaecology residents. BJOG 2007; 114(1): 94-8.
  24. Slany C, Schütte S, Chastang J-F, Parent-Thirion A, Vermeylen G, Niedhammer I. Psychosocial work factors and long sickness absence in Europe. Int J Occup Environ Health 2014; 20(1): 16-25.
  25. Böhm D, Gissendanner SS, Finkeldey F, John S, Werfel T, Diepgen T, et al. Severe occupational hand eczema, job stress and cumulative sickness absence. Occup Med 2014; 64(7): 509-15.
  26. Bültmann U, Huibers MJ, van Amelsvoort LP, Kant I, Kasl SV, Swaen GM. Psychological distress, fatigue and long-term sickness absence: prospective results from the Maastricht Cohort Study. J Occup Environ Med 2005; 47(9): 941-7.
  27. Moreau M, Valente F, Mak R, Pelfrene E, De Smet P, De Backer G, et al. Occupational stress and incidence of sick leave in the Belgian workforce: the Belstress study. J Epidemiol Community Health 2004; 58(6): 507-16.
  28. Kasiri Dolat Abadi N, Hosseini Kokamari P, Sharifirad G, Hassanzadeh A, Shahnazi H. Relationship between Occupational Stress Level and the Absence of Administrative Personnel in Isfahan Health Center. Journal of Health System 2011; 7(6): 1243-9.[In Persian]