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Table 1 Characteristics of sick-listed employees with and without severe MUPS*

From: Sick-listed employees with severe medically unexplained physical symptoms: burden or routine for the occupational health physician? A cross sectional study

  N = 489 PHQ 15+ * (15.1%) N = 74 PHQ 15- (84.9%) N = 415 Statistic p-value
Female % 59.0 73.0 56.6 χ2 = 6.9 df 1 0.008
Age mean (SD) 44.6 (10.0) 42.5 (9.2) 45.0 (10.0) T(486) = 2.1 0.040
Education high/average/low % 33.1/46.6/20.3 20.0/55.7/24.3 35.5/44.8/19.6 χ2,a = 4.6 df 1 0.031
White % 86.6 75.3 88.6 χ2 = 9.4 df 1 0.002
Married/living together/alone % 55.9/14.1/30.0 46.6/11.0/42.5 57.7/14.7/27.6 χ2 = 6.5/df 2 0.038
PHQ-15 mean (SD) 9.8 (5.4) 19.2 (2.6) 8.2 (3.9) Z = -13.7 MW <0.001
Duration of sick leave (days) on day of consultation (median) 123 135 121 Z = -1.2 MW 0.248
OHP diagnosis * * (%)      
Mental disorder 43.1 62.2 39.8 χ2 = 11.9 df1 <0.001
Musculoskeletal disorder 26.8 10.8 29.6 χ2 = 11.4 df 1 <0.001
Other disorder 30.1 27.0 30.6 χ2 = 0.4 df 1 0.537
OHP attribution of the physical symptoms to somatic causes: completely/partly/not or unclear 44.3/21.6/34.1 25.4/25.4/49.3 47.9/20.8/31.3 χ2 = 11.9b df1 0.001ac
Idem to psychiatric causes: completely/partly/not or unclear 12.1/17.1/70.9 25.4/26.9/47.8 9.6/15.2/75.2 χ2 = 21.7b df 1 0.001a
Idem to distress: completely/partly/not or unclear 26.1/23.8/50.1 36.4/25.8/37.0 24.2/23.4/52.4 χ2 = 5.6b df 1 0.018a
Idem to health anxiety: completely/partly/not or unclear 3.6/19.7/76.8 7.5/32.8/59.7 2.8/17.2/80.0 χ2 = 13.1b df 1 0.001a
Idem to somatisation: completely/partly/not or unclear 5.9/23.2/70.9 6.0/29.9/64.2 5.9/22.0/72.1 χ2 = 1.0b df 1 0.309a
  1. * Severe MUPS is operationalised as a score of 15 or higher on the Patient Health Questionnaire
  2. **) In employees who reported physical symptoms
  3. a) X2 trend test b) χ2 trend test c Independent Students' t test