Limits...
Increasing health inequalities between women in and out of work--the impact of recession or policy change? A repeated cross-sectional study in Stockholm county, 2006 and 2010.

Blomqvist S, Burström B, Backhans MC - Int J Equity Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Through logistic regression, levels of mental distress and limiting longstanding illness (LLI), were compared between four labour market groups; employed and unemployed, sickness absentees and disability pension recipients, at the two time points.For both health outcomes, the weight of social and economic conditions had increased in 2010 compared to 2006.Results indicate that levels of mental distress increased in all groups, but more so among groups outside the labour market, possibly due to stricter eligibility criteria and lower benefit levels, which particularly affected their social and economic conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. mona.backhans@ki.se.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The social insurance system in Sweden underwent extensive change between 2006 and 2010, with the overall aim of making people enter the labour market. At the same time, economic recession hit Sweden. Previous studies suggest that the economic recession particularly affected women. In light of these changes, the aim of this study is to investigate whether health inequalities between employed women and groups outside the labour market changed between 2006 and 2010. A second aim is to examine the explanatory weight of socio-demographic factors vs social and economic conditions.

Methods: Data consists of the Stockholm Public Health Surveys (SPHS) for 2006 and 2010. Women aged 18-64 were studied. Through logistic regression, levels of mental distress and limiting longstanding illness (LLI), were compared between four labour market groups; employed and unemployed, sickness absentees and disability pension recipients, at the two time points.

Results: Mental distress increased among women in all four labour market groups between 2006 and 2010. Differences in mental distress between those employed and groups outside the labour market also increased. These were explained primarily by social and economic conditions. Levels of LLI were unchanged except among the unemployed. The difference in LLI between the unemployed and the employed was mostly explained by social and economic conditions. In the other groups socio-demographic factors were more salient. For both health outcomes, the weight of social and economic conditions had increased in 2010 compared to 2006.

Conclusions: Results indicate that levels of mental distress increased in all groups, but more so among groups outside the labour market, possibly due to stricter eligibility criteria and lower benefit levels, which particularly affected their social and economic conditions.

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Number of cases of registered unemployed, on sickness or rehabilitation benefits, and disability pension in 2005–2011 in Stockholm county.
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Figure 1: Number of cases of registered unemployed, on sickness or rehabilitation benefits, and disability pension in 2005–2011 in Stockholm county.

Mentions: The main purpose of these reforms was to ‘make work pay’, thus creating incentives for people out of work to return to work. However, critics of the reforms say that creating obstacles to enter the insurance system implies a hollowing-out of the traditionally inclusive and generous benefit system, where those most removed from the labour market due to lack of experience or low education, are effectively barred from income-related benefits. For those with illness, being too well for the insurance but too ill for the demands of employers may simply mean a change of insurance type, from sickness to unemployment benefits, with often less generous benefits due to the ceiling effect.Figure 1 displays the number of people registered as unemployed at the Swedish public employment service and the number of people receiving sickness benefit or disability pension from the Swedish social insurance agency during 2005–2011 in Stockholm county. The figure shows monthly statistics for Stockholm County and arrows illustrate when changes in the social insurance system were introduced.


Increasing health inequalities between women in and out of work--the impact of recession or policy change? A repeated cross-sectional study in Stockholm county, 2006 and 2010.

Blomqvist S, Burström B, Backhans MC - Int J Equity Health (2014)

Number of cases of registered unemployed, on sickness or rehabilitation benefits, and disability pension in 2005–2011 in Stockholm county.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126349&req=5

Figure 1: Number of cases of registered unemployed, on sickness or rehabilitation benefits, and disability pension in 2005–2011 in Stockholm county.
Mentions: The main purpose of these reforms was to ‘make work pay’, thus creating incentives for people out of work to return to work. However, critics of the reforms say that creating obstacles to enter the insurance system implies a hollowing-out of the traditionally inclusive and generous benefit system, where those most removed from the labour market due to lack of experience or low education, are effectively barred from income-related benefits. For those with illness, being too well for the insurance but too ill for the demands of employers may simply mean a change of insurance type, from sickness to unemployment benefits, with often less generous benefits due to the ceiling effect.Figure 1 displays the number of people registered as unemployed at the Swedish public employment service and the number of people receiving sickness benefit or disability pension from the Swedish social insurance agency during 2005–2011 in Stockholm county. The figure shows monthly statistics for Stockholm County and arrows illustrate when changes in the social insurance system were introduced.

Bottom Line: Through logistic regression, levels of mental distress and limiting longstanding illness (LLI), were compared between four labour market groups; employed and unemployed, sickness absentees and disability pension recipients, at the two time points.For both health outcomes, the weight of social and economic conditions had increased in 2010 compared to 2006.Results indicate that levels of mental distress increased in all groups, but more so among groups outside the labour market, possibly due to stricter eligibility criteria and lower benefit levels, which particularly affected their social and economic conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. mona.backhans@ki.se.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The social insurance system in Sweden underwent extensive change between 2006 and 2010, with the overall aim of making people enter the labour market. At the same time, economic recession hit Sweden. Previous studies suggest that the economic recession particularly affected women. In light of these changes, the aim of this study is to investigate whether health inequalities between employed women and groups outside the labour market changed between 2006 and 2010. A second aim is to examine the explanatory weight of socio-demographic factors vs social and economic conditions.

Methods: Data consists of the Stockholm Public Health Surveys (SPHS) for 2006 and 2010. Women aged 18-64 were studied. Through logistic regression, levels of mental distress and limiting longstanding illness (LLI), were compared between four labour market groups; employed and unemployed, sickness absentees and disability pension recipients, at the two time points.

Results: Mental distress increased among women in all four labour market groups between 2006 and 2010. Differences in mental distress between those employed and groups outside the labour market also increased. These were explained primarily by social and economic conditions. Levels of LLI were unchanged except among the unemployed. The difference in LLI between the unemployed and the employed was mostly explained by social and economic conditions. In the other groups socio-demographic factors were more salient. For both health outcomes, the weight of social and economic conditions had increased in 2010 compared to 2006.

Conclusions: Results indicate that levels of mental distress increased in all groups, but more so among groups outside the labour market, possibly due to stricter eligibility criteria and lower benefit levels, which particularly affected their social and economic conditions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus