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4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013   
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Contents >> Health related actions >> Days away from work or study/school

DAYS AWAY FROM WORK OR STUDY/SCHOOL

Definition

This topic refers to days on which respondents stayed away from work or study/school for more than half a day due to illness or injury, or to care for someone else.

Population

Information was collected for all persons in the NHS who were working or studying/at school.

Methodology

Information on this topic was collected through two modules in the NHS.

Healthy lifestyles module

In this module respondents were asked whether, in the last 2 weeks, they had stayed away from work or study/school for more than half a day as a result of their own illness or injury, or to care for someone else because they were sick or injured. Respondents who identified as having time off were then asked the number of days in the last 2 weeks that they had taken time off.

Respondents who identified they were working or studying/at school were asked separately about days away from work or study/school.

Actions module

All respondents who reported having one (or more) of the following long-term health conditions were sequenced to the Actions module in which they were asked a generic set of questions about actions taken for that condition (or group of conditions if they had more than one condition):

  • asthma;
  • cancer;
  • heart and circulatory condition(s);
  • arthritis;
  • osteoporosis;
  • diabetes/high sugar levels;
  • kidney disease; or
  • a mental or behavioural condition.

In this module respondents were asked whether, in the last 12 months, they had stayed away from work or study/school for more than half a day as a result of their long-term health condition. Respondents who identified as having time off were then asked the number of days in the last 12 months that they had taken time off.

Respondents who identified they were both working and studying/at school were asked about days away for each activity.

Data items

Data items and related output categories for this topic will be available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.

Interpretation

Points to be considered when interpreting data for this topic include the following.
  • While efforts were made in the survey questionnaire to ensure only illness or injury-related days away from work and/or study/school were recorded, and only days for which more than half a day's absence was involved, some mis-reporting may have occurred.
  • Questions about days away from work and/or study/school for a respondent's own illness and/or caring purposes were not exclusive. It is not possible to determine a total count of days away, as it is not possible to determine whether there are overlapping days (for example, where respondents were away from both work and study on the same day, or where they were away for their own illness and caring purposes on the same day).
  • Questions about days away from work were not asked in terms of a particular job. For persons with more than one job, the days away from work may not necessarily relate to the respondent's main job. While the effect of this is expected to be minor, it should be considered when, for example, analysing information on days away from work against reported occupation or industry of main job.
  • Respondents may have had days away from work and/or study/school due to multiple long-term health conditions. Numbers of days away from work and/or study/school for different conditions cannot be added together to create a total number of days away.

Comparability with 2007-08

Data collected in the Healthy Lifestyles module for 2011-12, refers to a 2 week time period and is not comparable with the 2007-08 NHS which collected information for a range of time periods, which did not include 2 weeks. It is however comparable with the 2004-05 NHS which did collect information for the 2 week time period.

In the 2007-08 NHS, days away from work and/or study/school was collected within specific long-term health condition modules only, and referred to days taken off in the last 12 months. Therefore, data collected in the 2011-12 Actions for specific long-term health conditions module are directly comparable.


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