Twin studies about sickness absence, disability pension and burnout

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In most studies of sickness absence and disability pension one can question to what extent the results are related to selection mechanisms. Using twin data is one way to handle that which is why we do several studies based on the Swedish Twin Registry.

Risk factors for and consequences of being sickness absent/disability pensioned

The overall objective of the STODS (Swedish Twin study of Disability pension and Sickness absence) is to investigate the importance of genetic and environmental/psychosocial factors for sickness absence and for disability pension in a nationwide, population-based twin sample. Special focus is on sickness absence and disability pensions due to musculoskeletal and mental diagnoses, which accounts for approximately 70% of the total sickness absence. In this project we are able to study both environmental and genetic factors using data from the Swedish Twin Registry in a large prospective project. Approximately 120,000 twins born between 1925 and 1990 are included and for these twins register as well as questionnaire data have been obtained.

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A twin study of factors associated with burnout

Burnout research has mostly concerned work related factors as explanations for burnout, where a work environment with e.g. low social support, low control and role conflicts constitute risk factors for employees to burn out. As regards individual factors, young people in the beginning of their professional career with a high involvement in work seems to be most vulnerable. This initial engagement in the burnout process has been explained in terms of a contingent self-esteem where the individual continuously strive to earn self-esteem by doings and thereby risk driving her or himself to excessive work intensity. Genetic effects on burnout has only been investigated in two previous studies. With twin data, differences in similarity between identical and fraternal twins provide information about the presence of genetic and environmental effects on burnout. The general aim of the project is to investigate the importance of genetic and environmental factors for burnout in a nationwide, population-based twin sample from the Swedish twin registry born 1959-1986.

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Insurance Medicine