Despite increasing work participation over recent decades, sickness absence rates among over-65s have decreased in Sweden.

Two new studies carried out within the IDEAR consortium have investigated sickness absence rates among those in paid work over the age of 65 in Sweden, something not studied before, in any country. We used nationwide register data from Statistics Sweden to construct four cohorts of everybody aged >65 years and living in Sweden in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The 2010 cohort contained 1 588 314 people, the 2005 cohort contained 1 427 499 people, the 2000 cohort contained 1 354 224 people and the 1995 cohort contained 1 278 870 people.

The first study investigated rates of the cohorts with an income from paid work, and rates of sickness absence >14 days among those with an income from paid work. We found that paid work participation increased drastically over time, from less than 10% in the cohort of 1995 to 24% in the cohort of 2010 among those aged 66-70, and from 2.7% to 3.5% among those aged >70 years. Despite this, rates of sickness absence for more than 14 days among those in paid work declined from 3.3% in 1995 to 2.5% in 2010 among those aged 66-70, and from 2.2% to 0.2% among those aged over 70. The opposite could have been expected, considering the healthy worker selection into paid work among people over 65 years of age.

The second study was two longitudinal cohort studies, including all those who turned 65 during either 2000 or 2005, followed from 1995 to 2010. We found that those who were in paid work after age 65 had more sickness absence days per year both before and after age 65 in the 2005 cohort than in the 2000 cohort. The study also found that sociodemographic differences in sickness absence among those in paid work after age 65 were larger before age 65 than after, but that there were greater sociodemographic differences in sick leave after the age of 65 years in the 2005 cohort than in the 2000 cohort.

The full studies can be found open to all here:

Farrants K, Marklund S, Kjeldgård L, Head J & Alexanderson K. 2017. Sick leave among individuals in paid work after age 65; a Swedish population-based study covering 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2018;46:297-305. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1403494817731487

Farrants K, Marklund S, Kjeldgård L, Head J & Alexanderson K. 2017. Sick leave before and after the age of 65 among those in paid work in Sweden in 2000 or 2005: a register-based cohort study. Journal of International Medical Research 46(2):564-577. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0300060517734744

 

 

The second course of the IDEAR Early Career Training Programme will take place in Stockholm, at the Karolinska Institutet, 14-16 November 2018. It will run over three intensive days, including Wednesday and Thursday evenings. We will start at 8:30 am on Wednesday, meaning that you will need to arrive in Stockholm on Tuesday 13 November.

This course will introduce participants to the types of register data available in different countries, how to work with them and what the pros and cons are of this sort of data. We will also handle statistical challenges of data on sickness absence, return to work, disability pension and old-age pension.

Preliminary programme

Wednesday 14 November 2018

8:30 Welcome, short presentations, course expectations

9:00 About IDEAR and the IDEAR early career training programme

9:05 What do we mean by ‘register data’?

9.30 Examples of register data available at the Division of Insurance Medicine

  • Different types of outcomes: work, return to work, sickness absence, disability pension, death: how to define them, how to measure them, using register data? What analytical methods to use? Presentations of different types of studies based on register data.
  • Concepts of health and morbidity in use of different types of data
  • How to use register data to get the information needed to compute them?

12:00 Photo time!

12:15 Lunch

13:15

  • Group work: (what type of data do I use? How could I use register data to answer my research questions?)
  • Reports from groups
  • What different types of data do you find in registers? (How can registers be linked? How can register-data be linked to survey data? What is the quality of different types of register data? What data to include if starting up a register? What to be aware of when using register data, including ethical aspects?) Study designs when using register data (KA)
  • GDPR
  • Pros and cons of register-based research. Discussions and questions

17:00 Reflections

17:30 Course dinner, more detailed presentations of participants

Thursday 15 November 2018

8:30 What have we learned so far?
9.00 Continued about registers:

  • If you can’t link data, what other options are there?
  • Statistical challenges in the analysis of data on sickness absence when analysing longitudinal data (KA)

Discussions and questions

  • Trajectory analyses (GEE-models) When can we use them? How to interpret results?

12:15 Lunch

13:15

  • To use twin registers (P Svedberg (PS))
  • Group work: Design problems in register research.
  • Reports from groups
  • Gender aspects in this type of research (related to the type of data that is available – that is – focus on gender bias in registration and compilation of data)
  • Register data that can be used in this type of research available in different countries: Denmark, the UK, Finland, France, Sweden (Several lecturers, TBC)

15:45-17.00 Group work, preparing presentation of two of the six articles that were to be read in advance.

Free time, optional joint dinner

Friday 16 November 2018

8:30 What have we learned so far?

  • Questions and unsolved issues

9:00 Group presentations of studies, according to specific questions

  • Discussions

11.15 Problems and possibilities when using register data for comparative studies between countries

12:15 Lunch

13:15 Ideas for collaborations or new projects (group work)

15.00 Reports from Groups

16:00 Course evaluation

16.15 Information about the next Training schools

16.30 End

Lecturers

  • Kristina Alexanderson (KA), professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Emilie Friberg, PhD, researcher, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Ellenor Mittendorfer Rutz, PhD, ass prof
  • Kerstin Nilsson, statistician
  • Magnus Stenbeck, PhD, ass prof
  • Pia Svedberg, PhD, ass prof, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Others to be confirmed.

Course management group

Target group

Junior members of the IDEAR network, included in the Early Career Training Program. You do not need to have worked with register data before, rather, the training school is to inspire such work and to get a better understanding of how results from such studies can be interpreted.

Place

Karolinska Institutet, Campus Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.

Preparations

All have read six studies based on register data before the course– they will be sent to registered participants ten days before course starts.

Participants need to arrive in Stockholm Tuesday 13 November, as we start early on Wednesday morning (8:30 am).

Aims of the Training school are to help young researchers to develop competence regarding use of registers in aging research and to interpret such results. Another aim is to promote networking and collaborations between junior researchers in this research area. This means that we encourage the participants to also participate in the following training courses that will be arranged by IDEAR.

Register

ASAP to Emilie Friberg emilie.friberg@ki.se

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