This study was conducted to elucidate sickness absence due to mental disorders in Japanese companies. Data on sickness absence taken for seven consecutive days or more at eight companies (total number of employees: 44,816) was used for the analysis. Diagnosis of mental disorders was based on medical certificates prepared by physicians. The frequency of absence due to all diseases and mental disorders was 3.0% and 0.3%, respectively. The proportion of frequency absence due to mental disorders compared to that for all diseases was 9.4%. Figures for absence prevalence were almost the same as those for frequency absence. The average length of absence due to mental disorders and non-mental disorders was 119.5 days and 47.3 days, respectively. Rate of absence days due to mental disorders compared to that for all diseases was 21.0%. Percent of sickness absenteeism was 0.4 %. In one company, the proportion of frequency absence and rate of absence days due to mental disorders compared to those for all diseases had an increasing tendency over the last six years.
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