Beliefs about common health problems and work: a qualitative study

MC Barnes, Rhiannon Buck, G Williams, KL Webb, M Aylward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Common health problems (CHPs) such as pain, depressed mood and fatigue are often cited as causes of disability and incapacity for work. The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate beliefs about CHPs in relation to work. Focus groups (n = 16) were undertaken with 79 people aged 17–83 in South Wales, UK, where there is a high prevalence of limiting long-term illnesses in a number of areas. The findings indicated that depression and stress were consistently reported to have a high impact on life and work relative to other CHPs, with work being perceived as a primary cause of these complaints. The social, moral and economic pressures involved in work and sickness absence emerged as a major theme. Differences were identified in beliefs about CHPs and work according to gender, age and socio-economic status. Beliefs were relatively consistent across geographical locations, although changes in forms of work and social structure of communities were more salient issues within the ex-coalfield areas. Care needs to be taken that initiatives aimed at reducing incapacity for work due to CHPs do not simply add to the pressure to ‘be well’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-665
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Fingerprint

Health
health
illness
Economics
Pressure
cause
Qualitative Study
Wales
Focus Groups
fatigue
complaint
mood
social structure
Fatigue
economics
pain
disability
Depression
Pain
gender

Keywords

  • Common health problems
  • Absence
  • Work
  • UK
  • Wales
  • Beliefs
  • Presenteeism

Cite this

Beliefs about common health problems and work: a qualitative study. / Barnes, MC; Buck, Rhiannon; Williams, G; Webb, KL; Aylward, M.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 67, No. 4, 08.2008, p. 657-665.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barnes, MC, Buck, R, Williams, G, Webb, KL & Aylward, M 2008, 'Beliefs about common health problems and work: a qualitative study', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 657-665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.05.008
Barnes, MC ; Buck, Rhiannon ; Williams, G ; Webb, KL ; Aylward, M. / Beliefs about common health problems and work: a qualitative study. In: Social Science and Medicine. 2008 ; Vol. 67, No. 4. pp. 657-665.
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