n African Journal of Psychiatry - Work phobia and sickness leave certificates : guest editorial
|Article Title||Work phobia and sickness leave certificates : guest editorial|
|© Publisher:||In House Publications|
|Journal||African Journal of Psychiatry|
|Author||Mike Ewart Smith|
|Publication Date||Nov 2009|
|Pages||249 - 253|
The recent study in the Journal by Emsley et al of teachers claiming occupational disability demonstrated the importance of work-related stress as a major contributory factor to the subjects' psychiatric morbidity. I have carried out a similar number of evaluations on teachers from the Northern provinces of South Africa applying for early retirement on the grounds of psychiatric disability. My findings have been uncannily, virtually identical to those of Emsley et al. But a striking factor in my teachers, not mentioned in the Cape study, was the length of time the applicants had been off work before eventually coming for independent assessment. About a couple of years was the norm. Amazingly, several had been receiving full salary while off work on sick leave for 4 or more years, pending final adjudication of their claims. Treatment during these waiting periods typically consisted of marking time with superficial symptom suppression until the desired escape from the noxious work environment was granted.
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