Absenteeism and productivity among mental health employees

Julian M. Libet, B. Christopher Frueh, Karen L. Pellegrin, Paul B. Gold, Alberto B. Santos, George W. Arana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We examined archival data to test the hypothesis that absenteeism is inversely related to work productivity among mental health employees at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center outpatient clinic. Results provided partial support for this hypothesis in that there was an inverse correlation between one measure of productivity and the percentage of sick and family care leave taken on Mondays and Fridays (r=.54). No significant relationship between work productivity and total sick and/or family care leave was found, although there was a trend in that direction (r=.34). These data suggest that mental health clinicians who use high levels of sick and/or family care leave are not necessarily unproductive workers. However, high percentages of absenteeism on Mondays and Fridays may represent a red flag for identifying under-performing clinicians. Examination of absenteeism patterns may prove useful for administrators. Management policy strategies to reduce absenteeism are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Absenteeism
  • Employees
  • Sick leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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