Sick and still at school: an empirical study of sickness presence among students in Norwegian secondary school
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMJ Open 2015, 5 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008290
Objectives: This paper investigates sickness presence (SP) among students. The research questions asked are: What is the distribution of SP among students in Norwegian secondary school? What characterises students with high SP in Norwegian secondary schools? Design: A cross-sectional survey conducted in 10th grade in lower secondary school (LSS) and level 2 in upper secondary school (USS). The study was conducted using multivariate binomial logistic regression analysis. Participants: The survey was administered to 66 schools, and 2 or 3 classes participated at each school. The response rate was 84% in LSS (n=1880) and 81% in USS (n=1160). Primary and secondary outcome measures: The paper provides information about the distribution of SP in secondary schools. The paper also examines which factors influence high SP. Results: 75% of students in LSS and 80% of students in USS reported SP in the previous school year. 24% of students in LSS and 33% of students in USS reported high SP (4 episodes or more). Students with high absence from school were more likely to report high SP (ORLSS=1.7, ORUSS=2.0) than those with low/no absence. Girls were more likely to report high SP (ORLSS=1.5, ORUSS=1.5) than boys. In LSS, students with high school motivation reported high SP more often than students with low/medium motivation. In USS, students in vocational studies programmes reported high SP more often than students in general/academic studies programmes. Conclusions: Some SP during a school year may be more common than no SP. Gender, absence, motivation and education programme were important factors for high SP in secondary school.