Sickness presenteeism among nurses
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This thesis is the main product of a Masters degree in Health Science, written by a student at the Department of Social Work and Health Science at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The thesis discusses sickness presenteeism in general and sickness presenteeism among nurses in particular. Nursing is one of the occupations that are more exposed to sickness presenteeism. Despite this, very little research has yet been done on this correlation – in Norway, almost none. The thesis consists of two articles. The first article presents the concept of sickness presenteeism along with existing theories and research in general and concerning nurses. This is a theoretical article, in which the purpose is to identify why sickness presenteeism is not an ideal situation for nurses and which work-related factors that influence sickness presenteeism among nurses. The research question for this article is “What work-environmental factors have an influence on nurses sickness presenteeisem?” The second article is an empirical article and is done in connection with a survey of nurses’ sickness presenteeism within a Norwegian hospital. The survey examines the connection between sickness presenteeism and the use of substitutes, different working time arrangements and the influence of teamwork. The purpose of this article is to assess how the three work-environmental factors influences nurses’ sickness presenteeism, conducted with the help of three hypotheses. These are:H1: Working-time arrangements have an influence on sickness presenteeismH2: Low extent of using substitutes is related to higher level of sickness presenteeismH3: Good working relationship between co-workers is related to higher level of sickness presenteeismThe empirical work for this master’s thesis has been conducted using a quantitative method. This method was chosen based on a desire to investigate the extent, distribution and differences within sickness presenteeism among nurses. A quantitative method gives an opportunity to investigate a larger group of nurses, and obtain results that can also be valid for other nurses. If a qualitative method were to be used, it would not have been possible to collect information from the same number of nurses and the results would most likely not represent nurses in general because of assumed differences between nurses. By using a qualitative method I was also able to compare the results with results from similar studies done in other countries. Still, the quantitative method has little room for a flexible approach to theory, and does not provide information about what might cause the sickness presenteeism. I still found this method to be the most suitable for what I wanted to achieve in this master’s thesis. A survey based on questions used by other researchers with an interest in the same field, was used to collect data. Using questions that others had already used made the results easier to compare, and also acted as some kind of quality control to the questions I first developed. The choices made concerning the survey, items and analysis is further described in chapter 2.0 Method of my empirical article. The strength and limitations of the method is discussed in chapter 4.1 Strengths and limitations of that same article.