External validation of a prediction model and decision tree for sickness absence due to mental disorders

Marieke F.A. van Hoffen*, Giny Norder, Jos W.R. Twisk, Corné A.M. Roelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: A previously developed prediction model and decision tree were externally validated for their ability to identify occupational health survey participants at increased risk of long-term sickness absence (LTSA) due to mental disorders. Methods: The study population consisted of N = 3415 employees in mobility services who were invited in 2016 for an occupational health survey, consisting of an online questionnaire measuring the health status and working conditions, followed by a preventive consultation with an occupational health provider (OHP). The survey variables of the previously developed prediction model and decision tree were used for predicting mental LTSA (no = 0, yes = 1) at 1-year follow-up. Discrimination between survey participants with and without mental LTSA was investigated with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: A total of n = 1736 (51%) non-sick-listed employees participated in the survey and 51 (3%) of them had mental LTSA during follow-up. The prediction model discriminated (AUC = 0.700; 95% CI 0.628–0.773) between participants with and without mental LTSA during follow-up. Discrimination by the decision tree (AUC = 0.671; 95% CI 0.589–0.753) did not differ significantly (p = 0.62) from discrimination by the prediction model. Conclusion: At external validation, the prediction model and the decision tree both poorly identified occupational health survey participants at increased risk of mental LTSA. OHPs could use the decision tree to determine if mental LTSA risk factors should be explored in the preventive consultation which follows after completing the survey questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

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