Predicting Temporal Trends in Sickness Absence Rates for Civil Service Employees of a Federal Public Health Agency Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether trends of sickness in employees at a federal agency are predictable, and whether the variance was minimal enough to detect unusual levels of employee illness for further investigation. METHODS: Ten years of absenteeism data from an attendance system were analyzed for rates of sickness absence. Specifically, week of year and day of week were used to describe temporal trends. RESULTS: This study evaluates the predictability in temporal absence trends due to sickness among employees at a federal agency. Trends follow regular patterns during a given year that correspond to seasonal illnesses. Temporal trends in sick leave have been proven to be very predictable. CONCLUSION: The minimal variance allows the detection of sick leave anomalies that may be ascribable to specific causes, allowing the business or agency to follow-up and develop interventions.


  • Spears, D Ross
  • McNeil, Carrie
  • Warnock, Eli
  • Trapp, Jonathan
  • Oyinloye, Oluremi
  • Whitehurst, Vanessa
  • Decker, Kathryn
  • Chapman, Sandy
  • Campbell, Morris
  • Meechan, Paul

publication date

  • February 2013