Some parametric CFTRinh-172 molecular weight models have a level parameter and a shape parameter, which is allowed to depend on covariates and to vary between groups. The Cox model
may include time-dependent covariates. However, the change in covariate value does not affect the shape of the hazard but shifts the hazard to a different level. Also Cox models consume more degrees of freedom than models with parametric duration dependence. One degree of freedom is calculated for every category used in the analysis. For example, when 10 age categories are defined, 10 degrees of freedom are used, one for every baseline hazard. Parametric models only use a limited number of parameters and a corresponding lower number of degrees of freedom. Therefore parametric models are more parsimonious and have more power as compared to Cox models. The aim of this study was to investigate the time to onset of long-term sickness 3-MA absence and return to work after long-term sickness absence by means of parametric hazard rate models, in order to identify which model fitted the data best. Instead of modelling total sickness absence (e.g. Joling et al. 2006), we choose to focus on long-term
(i.e. more than six consecutive BIBW2992 weeks) sickness absence because it has been reported that short term sickness absence is a different construct affected by different factors (Allebeck and Mastekaasa 2004). Methods Study design and population The study population consisted of 53,830 employees of three large and nationally spread Dutch companies in the postal and telecommunications sector. Functions in these companies included sorting and delivery of mail, (parcel) transportation, call center and post office tasks, telecommunication (e.g. mechanics, sales, IT), back-office work, and executive functions. The study Anacetrapib design is described elsewhere (Koopmans et al. 2008). Employees aged 55 years or older in the base year were excluded because of possible bias due to senior regulations
or early retirement. The study population consisted of 37,955 men (mean age 41 years, SD = 8) and 15,875 women (mean age 39 years, SD = 8). Sickness absence data were retrieved from the occupational health department registry. Long-term sickness absence was defined as absence due to sickness for more than six consecutive weeks. Sickness absence episodes between 1998 and 2001 were recorded. Overlapping and duplicated absence episodes were corrected for. We investigated the time to onset of the first long-term sickness absence and the duration of all long-term sickness absence episodes. In case an employee had not suffered a long-term absence before 31 December 2001 or before the end of the employment period, the period was right censored. For the return to work models, data of employees (N = 16,433) who had at least one long-term absence episode between 1998 and 2001 were used.