Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Structured Early Consultation with the Occupational Physician Reduces Sickness Absence Among Office Workers at High Risk for Long-Term Sickness Absence: a Randomized Controlled Trial

By IJmert Kant, Nicole W. H. Jansen, Ludovic G. P. M. van Amelsvoort, Rudy van Leusden and Ate Berkouwer

Abstract

Objective To examine the efficacy of structured early consultation among employees at high risk for future long-term sickness absence, in the prevention and/or reduction of sickness absence. The focus of the experiment was the timing of the intervention, that is, treatment before sickness absence actually occurs. Methods In the current prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT), employees at high risk for long-term sickness absence were selected based on responses to a 34-item screening questionnaire including demographic, workplace, health and psychosocial factors associated with long-term sickness absence (>28 days). A total of 299 subjects at risk for future long-term sickness absence were randomized in an experimental group (n = 147) or in a control group (n = 152). Subjects in the experimental group received a structured early consult with their occupational physician (OP), in some cases followed by targeted intervention. The control group received care as usual. Sickness absence was assessed objectively through record linkage with the company registers on sickness absence over a 1 year follow-up period. Results Modified intention-to-treat analysis revealed substantial and statistically significant differences (p = 0.007) in total sickness absence duration over 1 year follow-up between the experimental (mean 18.98; SD 29.50) and control group (mean 31.13; SD 55.47). Per-protocol analysis additionally showed that the proportion of long-term sickness absence spells (>28 days) over 1 year follow-up was significantly (p = 0.048) lower in the experimental (9.1%) versus control group (18.3%). Conclusions Structured early consultation with the OP among employees at high risk for future long-term sickness absence is successful in reducing total sickness absence

Topics: Article
Publisher: Springer US
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2668565
Provided by: PubMed Central
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g... (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    Citations

    1. An epidemiological approach to study fatigue in the working population: The Maastricht Cohort Study. Occup Environ Med 2003;60(Suppl 1):i32–i9.
    2. (1996). Disability resulting from occupational low back pain. Part I: What do we know about primary prevention? Spine
    3. Effectiveness of an intervention to reduce sickness absence in patients with emotional distress or minor mental disorders: a randomized controlled effectiveness trial.
    4. Efficacy of cognitive-behavioural therapy by general practitioners for unexplained fatigue among employees: Randomised controlled trial.
    5. (1998). Health care and indemnity costs across the natural history of disability in occupational low back pain. Spine
    6. (1989). Incidence of sickness certification. Proposal for use as a health status indicator.
    7. Increase in sickness absence with psychiatric diagnosis in Norway: a general population-based epidemiologic study of age, gender and regional distribution.
    8. Long term sickness absence.
    9. (1998). Medically certified work loss, recurrence and costs of wage compensation for back pain: a follow-up study of the working population of Jersey.
    10. Mental health problems as a cause of long-term sick leave in the Norwegian workforce.
    11. (2005). of Statistics. Statistisch Jaarboek
    12. Predicting the duration of sickness absence for patients with common mental disorders in occupational health care.
    13. Prevalence of subjective health complaints (SHC) in Norway.
    14. (2003). Reducing long term sickness absence by an activating intervention in adjustment disorders: a cluster randomised controlled design. Occup Environ Med
    15. (2008). Risk factors for sick leave—general studies.
    16. (1997). Sick leave among women and the role of psychiatric disorder.
    17. (1995). Sickness absence as a measure of health status and functioning: from the UK Whitehall II study.
    18. (1995). Sickness absence for psychiatric illness: the Whitehall II study. Soc Sci Med
    19. (1997). Sickness absence from back pain, psychosocial work characteristics and employment grade among office workers.
    20. Sickness absence with low-back, shoulder, or neck diagnoses: an 11-year follow-up regarding gender differences in sickness absence and disability pension.
    21. The Demand-Control-Support model as a predictor of return to work.
    22. (2001). Third European survey on working conditions. Dublin: European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions
    23. Who is at risk for long-term sickness absence? A prospective cohort study of Danish employees.

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.