Quality in sickness certificates in a Swedish social security system perspective
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 43, no 8, 841-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
AIM: In Sweden, the information in the sickness certificate is crucially important for the sick-listed person as well as for the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the sick-listed person's employer. The certificate is used as the basis for deciding whether a person is entitled to sickness benefits. Further, it communicates information significant for the return-to-work process. The aim of the study was to evaluate the quality of sickness certificates issued in primary health care and examine if the patients' or physicians' gender influences the information in the sickness certificate.
METHODS: An insurance specialist at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency assessed the quality of the stated information in a sample of 323 certificates issued by 146 different general practitioners at 29 different primary health care centres in northern Sweden.
RESULTS: Thirty-four percent of the certificates did not contain sufficient information requested. The areas of the certificates in need of supplementary information were mainly the descriptions of impairment of body function and activity limitation. More certificates issued for women than certificates issued for men lacked the required information. Full-time sick leave was more often prescribed for male patients than for female. Significant differences between certificates issued for women and certificates issued for men appeared in the group of musculoskeletal diseases. No differences in quality aspects connected to physicians' gender were found.
CONCLUSION: Our study indicates a need for increased knowledge about the descriptions of functioning for sick-listed persons; more cooperation between health professionals in primary health care and a better gender awareness in health care encounters.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 43, no 8, 841-847 p.
Sick leave, primary health care, gender, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, insurance medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108225DOI: 10.1177/1403494815597163ISI: 000364636600009PubMedID: 26229074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-108225DiVA: diva2:852143