Purpose There is an evident discrepancy between need and provision of evidence-based return-to-work (RTW) interventions in existing mental health services. Online dissemination of evidence-based interventions is presumed to reduce this gap. However, there is almost no knowledge available on perceived acceptability of digital RTW interventions among service users, which are factors that might influence the development and implementation of future interventions. The aim of this study was to develop knowledge of service user acceptability of mWorks, a proposed digital RTW solution. Methods Participants (n = 18) with experience of common mental disorder and sick leave were recruited with a purposive snowball sampling method. Semi-structured interviews (n = 12) and one focus group interview (n = 6) were conducted. A deductive thematic analysis was performed according to the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. Results Digital RTW interventions were perceived as acceptable and aligned with participant value. Participants expressed positive attitudes toward having access to support, regardless of time and place. A certain ambiguity between a decline in social interactions and opportunities to RTW in a safe space was reported. Participants were confident in their ability to use digital RTW solutions, but reported the need to reduce stressful elements of using smartphones. Overly demanding digital solutions, i.e. ones requiring high cognitive effort, were described as burdensome. Conclusions For digital RTW solutions to be acceptable, they need to complement traditional services by providing accessible and person-centred support throughout the RTW process. They should be designed to reduce the need for cognitive effort. Future research should explore how to balance user autonomy with other support components in digital interventions.
Source: Engdahl P, Svedberg P, Bejerholm U, BMC psychiatry, 2021 Aug 03; Vol. 21 (1), pp. 384
Purpose Most people with common mental disorders are working despite symptoms. This study explores individuals' experiences of a work-directed rehabilitation, provided by occupational therapists and physiotherapists, aiming to promote work capacity in persons with common mental disorders. Methods A qualitative content analysis was used, and 11 women and 8 men with depression or anxiety disorder were interviewed. They were 25-66 years old, had different occupations and were working full or part-time. Results The participants experienced a process interpreted as Increasing belief in one's capacity through supported reflection and practice. This theme reflects the shifting between "reflecting" and "doing" through rehabilitation and the growing hope for change. The increasing belief in one's capacity was developed through three stages, comprised of the categories To be supported by a professional, To realise things about oneself and To try new strategies for change. Conclusions Strategies suggested by occupational therapists and physiotherapists have the potential to promote work capacity in people who are working while depressed and anxious. The results may deepen the understanding among rehabilitation professionals about the importance of a person-centred approach to people with common mental disorders, and to combine reflection and practical exercises to support the development of work-related strategies.Implications for rehabilitationWork-directed rehabilitation provided by occupational therapists and/or physiotherapists is beneficial to people with common mental disorders.Rehabilitation professionals should focus on facilitating self-efficacy among people with common mental disorders.An individualised person-centred approach seems important in order to initiate change.
Source: Lork K, Holmgren K, Danielsson L, Disability and rehabilitation, 2021 Aug; Vol. 43 (17), pp. 2487-2496
Purpose Lack of mental health literacy among rehabilitation professionals and employers in the return-to-work of persons with mental health problems resulted in the development of a three-day group training program, the Support to Employers from rehabilitation Actors about Mental health (SEAM) intervention. Objective: To evaluate the impact of SEAM on rehabilitation professionals' knowledge and beliefs, attitudes, and supporting behaviors towards people with mental health problems and employers as part of the return-to-work process. Methods In this longitudinal study, 94 rehabilitation professionals were included. Data were collected prior to (T1), immediately after (T2) and 6 months after SEAM training (T3) using knowledge and attitude scales and a questionnaire on supporting behaviors. SEAM includes training in Mental Health First Aid, presentations and discussions on current research on work and mental health, and strategies and communication guidelines to use when meeting service users and employers as part of the return-to-work of persons with mental health problems. SEAM also includes a homepage with targeted employer information. Data were analyzed using non-parametric statistics. Results SEAM significantly increased rehabilitation professionals' knowledge of mental health (T1-T2: z = -2.037, p = 0.042; T2-T3: z = -5.093, p = 0.001), and improved their attitudes towards persons with mental health problems (T1-T2: z = 4.984, p = 0.001). Professionals (50-60%) also estimated that they had increased their use of supporting strategies towards service users and employers.Conclusions The study suggests that SEAM can increase mental health literacy among rehabilitation professionals and lead to a greater focus on service users' resources and work ability, as well as on employers' support needs
Source: Lexén A, Emmelin M, Hansson L, Svensson B, Porter S, Bejerholm U, Work, 2021 Jun 29
Purpose Work participation among employees with depression is hampered due to cognitive impairments. Although studies show higher levels of work disability among people with a lower education, highly educated employees may encounter specific challenges in fulfilling their work role due to the cognitive impairments of depression, as they often perform cognitively demanding jobs. There is little knowledge about their challenges and opportunities with regard to work participation. Objective: To investigate how highly educated employees with depression manage work participation by focusing on their views on opportunities and challenges in fulfilling their work role. Methods Eight individual interviews with highly educated employees with depression were conducted. Transcripts were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results The analysis revealed four categories: struggling with acknowledging depression and disclosure; fear of being stigmatised at work; work is a motivator in life; and striving to fulfil the work role at the expense of private life activities. Conclusions Highly educated employees with depression need guidance regarding the disclosure of information about health issues and work ability. To successfully manage their work role, they need a clear plan with outlined tasks, demands and goals. Healthcare professionals and workplaces should support them in setting limits with regard to work tasks and working hours.
Source: Lyhne CN, Nielsen CV, Kristiansen ST, Bjerrum MB, Work, 2021 Jun 26
Purpose Depression is one of the major causes for sick leave and loss of productivity at work. Many studies have investigated return to work (RTW) interventions for people with common mental disorders. However, a paucity of studies has targeted depressive symptoms in the workplace, as well as work productivity. This study presents preliminary results on a novel group intervention based on cognitive behavioral principles in order to optimize sustainable RTW, by reducing clinical symptoms (anxiety and depression) and improving work productivity. Method This pilot study followed a quasi-experimental design, with participants randomly receiving the group intervention (N = 19) or only receiving usual services (N = 11, control group). The group intervention called Healthy Minds for Sustainable RTW consists of eight sessions based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles and techniques. Outcome measures on depressive and anxiety symptoms and work productivity were administered at baseline (i.e. the start of return-to-work or gradual RTW), as well 2 months later (post-intervention), and at 6-month follow-up. Results The results did not show a time × group interaction for symptoms of depression or anxiety (p = 0.07). Those who received the group intervention however did see a within-group reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms over time, clinically significant for the group intervention only. A significant time × group interaction for work productivity was found, with those in the intervention group improving over time compared to the control condition. Conclusion Although replication is needed, these results suggest that a brief group cognitive-behavioral intervention specifically tailored to work-related issues is promising. Future studies are warranted, particularly with larger samples and remote webconferencing delivery.
Source: Corbière M, Lachance JP, Jean-Baptiste F, Hache-Labelle C, Riopel G, Lecomte T, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Jul 19
Purpose The problem of illnesses, sick leave and the necessary return to work and permanence at work has been determining the development of different protocols and professional rehabilitation programs in different countries. We sought to identify articles that address programs for professional rehabilitation and the return to work of people laid off due to mental health problems, and to verify the results of professional rehabilitation programs and the follow-up processes for such return. Methods A systematic review was performed according to the criteria of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA). The serial search of the articles was carried out in the electronic databases: Web of Science, MEDLINE/PubMed and Scopus. The variations in the descriptors served to find a greater range of significant results for the research. Results In total, 2,306 articles were found. Another two articles that met the inclusion criteria were located through manual searches, adding up to a total of 2,308. Applying the exclusion criteria resulted in a final data set of 47 peer-reviewed articles. Conclusions The issues involving return to work and permanence in work were complex and multifaceted in the research articles studied. Recovery from Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) is a major cause of long-term sick leave and the granting of disability benefits. Many people with these diagnoses remain employed; however, further studies are needed with women, workers with fragile relationships, and immigrants.
Source: Lancman S, Barroso BIL, Work, 2021 Jun 04
Purpose To explore if and how a dialogue-based workplace intervention with a convergence dialogue meeting can support a return to work process from the managers' perspective. Methods Individual interviews were conducted with 16 managers (10 women and 6 men) who had an employee on sick leave because of stress-induced exhaustion disorder. The manager and employee participated in a dialogue-based workplace intervention with a convergence dialogue meeting that was guided by a healthcare rehabilitation coordinator. The intervention aimed to facilitate dialogue and find concrete solutions to enable return to work. The interviews were analyzed by the Grounded Theory method. Results A theoretical model was developed with the core category enhancing managerial capacity to act in a complex return to work process, where the managers strengthened their agential capacity in three levels (categories). These levels were building competence, making adjustments, and sharing responsibility with the employee. The managers also learned to navigate in multiple systems and by balancing demands, control and support for the employee and themselves. An added value was that the managers began to take preventive measures with other employees. When sick leave was caused only by personal or social issues (not work), workplace actions or interventions were difficult to find. Conclusions From the managers' perspective, dialogue-based workplace interventions with a convergence dialogue meeting and support from a rehabilitation coordinator can strengthen managerial competence and capacity to act in a complex return to work process.
Source: Eskilsson T, Norlund S, Lehti A, Wiklund M, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Jun; Vol. 31 (2), pp. 263-274
Purpose To disentangle the key steps of the return to work (RTW) process and offer clearer recovery-focused and sustainable RTW for people on sick leave due to common mental disorders (CMDs). Methods This participatory research involves two large Canadian organizations. In each organization, we established an advisory committee composed of RTW stakeholders. We collected information in semi-structured interviews from RTW stakeholders ( n = 26) with each member of the advisory committee in each organization, as well as with employees who had recently experienced CMDs. The interviews examined the RTW process for employees on sick leave due to CMDs as well as RTW stakeholders' perceptions of barriers and facilitators. A thematic approach was used to synthesize the data, following which, results were discussed with the two advisory committees to identify solutions considering key RTW steps. Results Ten common key steps within the three RTW phases emerged from the semi-structured interviews with RTW stakeholders and discussions with the two advisory committees: 1) At the beginning of sickness absence and involvement of disability management team (phase 1), we found 3 steps (e.g., taking charge of the file), 2) during the involvement in treatment rehabilitation with health professionals and preparation of the RTW (phase 2), 4 steps (e.g., RTW preparation), and finally 3) the RTW and follow-up (phase 3) consists of 3 steps (e.g., gradual RTW). Conclusion A participatory study involving RTW stakeholders helped identify 10 common key steps within three phases to support RTW sustainability of people with CMDs. Future research will need to address how RTW coordinators intervene in the RTW process of employees with CMDs within these steps.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONRehabilitation professionals will benefit from a detailed description of the RTW process (10 steps spread out over 3 RTW phases), allowing them to standardize it while adopting a personalized approach for the employee on sick leave.Rehabilitation professionals are informed of stakeholders' role and actions required in the RTW process; as such the communication between RTW stakeholders should be improved.RTW coordinators will be able to tailor more precisely their intervention, considering the detailed RTW process and RTW stakeholders' role and actions, and thus will become the pivot occupational health specialists for the RTW process.
Source: Corbière M, Mazaniello-Chézol M, Lecomte T, Guay S, Panaccio A, Disability and rehabilitation, 2021 Jun 04, pp. 1-13
Purpose An increasing number of patients are on sick leave because of common mental disorders (CMD), with or without antidepressant therapy. There is a lack of long-term follow-up studies in the primary care context, where most of the patients are treated. The importance of identifying potential factors associated with work ability for CMD patients is increasingly in focus. Objective: To investigate the associations between using antidepressants, sick leave duration, reported work ability and psychological symptoms among patients with CMD during a two-year observation period in the primary care context. Methods Longitudinal observational cohort study at 28 Primary Care Centers in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden, including 182 patients with an employment and on sick leave for CMD. The following outcomes were assessed: work ability measured with WAI, depressive symptoms with MADRS-S, anxiety symptoms with BAI, fatigue symptoms with KEDS, quality of life with EQ-5D, and days of sick leave. The data were compared between the groups that used and did not use antidepressants, during the 24-months observation period. Results Work ability and health-related quality of life increased over time in both groups. A steeper decrease of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms as well as an increased health-related quality of life at 3, 6 and 12 months was found in the group without antidepressants, although both groups levelled off at 24 months. In both groups, a higher work ability at baseline was associated with less two-year sick leave. Conclusion Our study indicates that a high work ability at baseline has a strong association with a lower total net and gross sick leave duration during the entire two-year follow-up period for patients with CMD in primary health care, irrespective of use of antidepressants. Using WAI in primary health care could therefore be helpful in predicting return to work. Use of antidepressants during the CMD episode could indicate initially a more pronounced overall symptom pattern, motivating introduction of antidepressants, rather than prolonging the sick leave period.
Source: Hange D, Ariai N, Björkelund C, Svenningsson I, Nejati S, Petersson EL, Augustsson P, Skoglund I, Heliyon, 2021 May 28; Vol. 7 (5), pp. e07116
Purpose Common mental disorders present the main reason for registered sick leave in Sweden today, and women are at a higher risk of such sick leave than men. The aim of this paper is to explore how employees on sick leave for common mental disorders experience interventions and rehabilitation activities during return-to-work, as well as to explore similarities and differences between the experiences of the interviewed women and men. Methods A qualitative design was applied with semi-structured focus group interviews. Seven focus groups were conducted with a total of 28 participants (13 women and 15 men). The focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, and data analyzed with conventional content analysis. Similarities and differences in the women's and men's experiences were written down in reflective notes during all steps of the analysis. Results The results comprise of one main category, "To be met with respect and recognition", and subcategories at two levels. Both similarities and differences emerged in how women and men sick-listed because of common mental disorders experienced return-to-work interventions and rehabilitation activities. It was important for both women and men to be met with respect and recognition, which was essential to all forms of help that the participants discussed during the focus group interviews. Women expressed a need for home-related interventions, whereas men expressed a need for organizational interventions to counter feelings of resignation at work. Women could also more easily understand their mental health condition as compared with men. Conclusion A key implication of this study is that research on interventions and rehabilitation activities during return-to-work among employees on sick leave for common mental disorders should consider whether the findings are relevant equally to both women and men. Similarly, return-to-work professionals may need to consider possible differences among women and men on sick leave for common mental disorders, and to further customize offered interventions and rehabilitation activities. Doing so may help enhance the effectiveness of such interventions.
Source: Nybergh L, Bergström G, Jensen I, Hellman T, PloS one, 2021 Jun 25; Vol. 16(6), pp. e0253049
Purpose Return to work self-efficacy (RTW-SE) is a strong predictor of return to work (RTW) in employees with mental health problems (MHPs). However, little is known about the development of RTW-SE during the RTW process. In this study, we aimed to identify RTW-SE trajectories in the year following sick leave in employees with MHPs and provided a description of the trajectories in terms of personal and work characteristics, and RTW status. Methods This multi-wave study included 111 employees with MHPs. RTW-SE was measured at baseline, and at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up with the RTW-SE scale for employees with MHPs. Results Latent class growth analysis revealed six trajectories. In three trajectories employees had increasing RTW-SE scores, namely (class 1) low start, moderate increase, (class 3) moderate start, small increase and (class 5) moderate start, steep increase. The other trajectories were defined by (class 2) persistently high, (class 6) persistently low, and (class 4) decreasing RTW-SE scores over time. Employees across the various trajectories differed significantly with respect to RTW status, and personal and work characteristics measured at baseline, including age, gender, and type of MHP. Less favorable trajectories (class 4 and 6) were characterized by higher age, a higher prevalence of anxiety disorder and lower RTW rates. The most favorable trajectory (class 2) was characterized by a higher proportion of stress-related disorders and less major depression diagnoses. Conclusions Large heterogeneity exists in terms of RTW-SE trajectories in employees with MHPs and significant differences were found across the trajectories regarding personal and work characteristics, and RTW status. Insights into RTW-SE trajectories and their attributes are important to advance more effective and personalized RTW treatment for employees with MHPs.
Source: Horn L, Spronken M, Brouwers EPM, de Reuver RSM, Joosen MCW, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 May 12
Purpose This study aims to analyse factors that influence return to work (RTW) among workers on sickness absence due to mental disorders. Methods A longitudinal study conducted between 2014-2017 in São Paulo, Brazil. The 385 participants answered a questionnaire including sociodemographics, habits/lifestyle, job characteristics and clinical information. Survival analysis were performed to identify factors influencing the RTW. Results Most of participants were females (74.5%), worked in jobs dealing with public (44.2%) and were depressed (52.4%). RTW occurred for 68.3% participants over 1-year follow-up. Mean duration of absence was 163.83 days. The risk profile for remaining absent was heavy smokers, be abstainer, obese, deal with the public, perceived great effort at work and low self-efficacy. Conclusions These findings can contribute in discussion about disability prevention and interventions to assure mental health care for workers.
Source: Silva-Junior JS, Martinez MC, Griep RH, Fischer FM, Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 2021 May 14
Purpose Both the presence of psychological problems and the absence of an employment contract are related to long-term sickness absence, prolonged work disability and unemployment. Studies researching the effectiveness of return-to-work interventions on these non-permanent workers, including unemployed and temporary agency workers and workers with an expired fixed-term contract, are lagging behind. Therefore, a return-to-work intervention called "Brainwork" was developed. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the 'Brainwork Intervention' in reducing the duration of sick leave compared to usual care over a 12-month follow-up. Methods In a multicenter controlled clinical trial, using a quasi-randomization procedure, we compared the Brainwork Intervention (n = 164) to usual care (n = 156). The primary outcome was the duration of sick leave. Secondary outcomes were the duration of sick leave starting from Social Security Agency transfer; the proportion of workers returned to work; the number of hours of paid employment during the follow-up period; the degree of worker participation; the level of psychological complaints; and the self-efficacy for return to work. Protocol adherence (Brainwork Intervention) was considered sufficient when at least three of the five protocol steps were followed. Cox regressions, linear and ordinal regression, and Mixed Model analyses were performed. Results All 320 participants were analyzed. The Brainwork Intervention resulted in a non-significant reduction of the duration of sick leave compared to usual care (269 days versus 296 days; HR = 1.29; 95% CI 0.94-1.76; p = 0.11). For those working (46%) during the 12-month follow-up, the mean number of hours of paid employment was non-significantly higher in the usual care group (682 h versus 493 h; p = 0.053). No significant differences were found for other secondary outcomes. Protocol adherence was 10%. Conclusions The Brainwork Intervention as performed with a low protocol adherence did not result in a significant reduction of the duration of sick leave compared to usual care. It remains unclear what the results would have been if the Brainwork Intervention had been executed according to protocol.
Source: Audhoe SS, Hoving JL, Zijlstra BJH, Frings-Dresen MHW, Nieuwenhuijsen K, BMC public health, 2021 Apr 09; Vol. 21 (1), pp. 698
Purpose Mood disorders are common, tend to recur, cause sickness absence, and lead to economic loss. Since past experiences of mood disorder episodes often increase future vulnerability, it is imperative to assist those mood disorder patients who want to resume working to build resilience to prevent relapse. Paralleling efforts in the West, a resilience-building program utilizing the principles of the Illness Management and Recovery program was first developed in Japan in 1997. The purpose of this survey is to introduce the concept and theory behind the Re-Work program and to review studies that report on program assessment, content, effects and associated factors, and prognosis of participants. Methods A literature search performed with PubMed and Igaku chuou zasshi (Ichushi) identified 30 relevant studies. Results One of these reported on a tool developed to assess readiness for returning to work. Concerning program content, a group therapy setting and cognitive behavioral therapy were found to be effective. Physical exercise and relaxation techniques may be useful as secondary program components. Conclusion Several studies report on program effects, but there may be factors that limit these effects. The prognosis for relapse prevention after the resumption of work may be better for Re-Work program participants than for a control group. Further research in this area is needed to confirm program effectiveness and related factors.
Source: Arima H, Akiyama T, de Moura PA, Bernick P, Sakai Y, Ozaki Y, Matsumoto S, Ohki Y, Igarashi Y, Tachimori H, Yamaguchi S, Asian journal of psychiatry, 2021 Feb 17; Vol. 58, pp. 102580
Purpose The aim of this study was to explore psychiatrists' experience of vocational rehabilitation for patients with mental illness. Methods The study employed a qualitative design to explore psychiatrists' experience of vocational rehabilitation. Ten psychiatrists, five women and five men, 33-62 years of age (median 40), were interviewed. All of them worked with patients at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. All participants considered vocational rehabilitation to be of great importance for patients' well-being and health. Results The results were characterized by two opposite experiences: frustration and agency, these were the two main themes in the analysis. All narratives embraced both experiences, but some reflected more frustration and others more agency. Conclusion In order for the psychiatrist to master the assignment, there is a need for further training and supervision. The psychiatrist's role, as well as other professional roles within the team, requires clarification, and the support from rehabilitation coordinators and occupational therapists should be enhanced. There is a need for improved cooperation with external actors.
Source: Wallentin Å, Kinberg E, Strand J, Sand P, The Psychiatric quarterly, 2021 Mar 04
Purpose Most research on burnout has focused on its antecedents, correlates, and consequences. However, little empirical attention has been paid to what constitutes successful rehabilitation after burnout, especially among young employees. The present study empirically examined resources supporting successful rehabilitation after burnout among young employees (between 18 and 35 years of age) from a salutogenic perspective. Methods Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used as a methodological framework to explain the experiences of young employees underlying their rehabilitation after burnout. Results The analysis showed that the rehabilitation process comprises four phases: 1) facing the crisis; 2) addressing the root causes; 3) seizing and achieving the opportunity; and 4) staying at work. Essential overarching resources facilitating successful recovery after burnout included receiving social support from family, friends, and colleagues, as well as having a feeling of control over the rehabilitation process. Participants learned to be aware of potential pitfalls that could trigger burnout symptoms, while having confidence in their ability to prevent burnout from reoccurring. These continuous learning processes were experienced as a prerequisite to remain at work. Conclusions Receiving social support and experiencing a feeling of control over the rehabilitation process appear to be key resources in facilitating a stable, meaningful return to work after burnout.
Source: Pijpker R, Vaandrager L, Veen EJ, Koelen MA, Work, 2021 Feb 16
Purpose The purpose of this systematic literature review (SLR) is to examine the state of knowledge about the cost-effectiveness of return-to-work (RTW) interventions targeted at workers with medically certified sickness absences related to mental disorders. Our SLR addresses the question, "What is the evidence for the cost-effectiveness of RTW interventions for mental illness related sickness absences?" Methods This SLR used a reviewer pair multi-phase screening of publically available peer-reviewed studies published between 2002 and 2019. Five electronic databases were searched: (1) MEDLINE 1946-Present, (2) MEDLINE: Epub-Ahead of Print and In-Process, (3) PsycINFO, (4) Econlit, and (5) Web of Science. Results 6138 unique citations were identified. Ten articles were included in the review. Eight of the ten studies were conducted in the Netherlands, one in Sweden, and one in Canada. Results of this SLR suggest there is evidence that RTW interventions for workers with medically certified sickness absences can be cost-effective. Conclusions Although this SLR's results suggest that economic evaluations of RTW interventions can be cost-effective, the use of economic evaluations for studies of these program types is in its infancy. Some jurisdictions (e.g., the Netherlands) seem to have recognized the need for economic evaluations. However, more research is needed in different disability system contexts. Furthermore, use of the standard economic evaluation approaches for healthcare interventions may limit the usefulness of results if the end-user is an employer or non-health organization. This may present the opportunity to introduce newer approaches that include work-related measures of effectiveness and analytical approaches.
Source: Dewa CS, Hoch JS, Loong D, Trojanowski L, Bonato S, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Mar; Vol. 31 (1), pp. 26-40
Purpose Long-term sick leave due to common mental disorders (CMDs) is a great burden in society today, especially among women. A strong intention to return to work (RTW) as well as symptom relief may facilitate RTW in this group. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding what constitutes a strong intention. The Theory of Planned Behaviour is well-suited to identifying underlying beliefs about intentions to perform a behaviour. By including psychological well-being and perceived health, a more comprehensive picture of determinants of RTW intention might be achieved. Thus, the aim of the present study was to identify associations between RTW beliefs, psychological well-being, perceived health and RTW intentions among women on long-term sick leave due to CMDs, and to do so based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Methods The study was cross-sectional. Between October 2019 and January 2020, 282 women on long-term sick leave (> 2 months) due to CMDs were included in the study. The questionnaires for data collection were: "RTW Beliefs Questionnaire", the "General Health Questionnaire -12" and the "EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale". Standard multiple regression analysis was performed both with and without adjustment for potential confounders. Results The results showed that a more positive attitude towards RTW, stronger social pressure to RTW, higher perceived control over RTW and higher psychological well-being were associated with stronger RTW intention. The adjusted analysis eliminated the importance of psychological well-being for RTW intention, but showed that women who reported that their employer had taken actions to facilitate their RTW had stronger RTW intention. Conclusion The RTW beliefs, derived from the Theory of Planned Behaviour, were all important for a strong RTW intention, while psychological well-being and perceived health showed weaker associations. Furthermore, having an employer that take actions for facilitating RTW was associated with stronger RTW intentions. Though some caution is warranted regarding the representativeness of the sample, the results do improve our understanding of some important determinants of RTW intention among women on long-term sick leave for CMDs.
Source: Hedlund Å, Kristofferzon ML, Boman E, Nilsson A, BMC public health, 2021 Mar 19; Vol. 21 (1), pp. 535
Purpose Intention to return to work (RTW) is an important predictor of actual RTW among individuals on sick leave in general. However, it is not known whether this is also the case for individuals with common mental disorders (CMDs). Because CMDs are a leading cause of disability worldwide, the RTW process is often more complex and sick leave periods are longer than for other diagnoses. Thus, it is important to focus solely on this group. The purpose of this scoping review was to summarise studies targeting individuals' RTW intention and its importance for actual RTW after sick leave due to CMDs. Methods Studies relevant for the aim were identified by a structured searching in three electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO) from their inception until the end of June 2020, as well as grey literature and reference lists of included articles. To cover all aspects of "intention", close concepts such as "expectation" and "willingness" were searched for as well. Results After the selection process, 10 original research papers were included in the review: eight quantitative and two qualitative. Nine of the studies used the concept "expectation" and one "intention". There was also a lack of consistency in measurements across studies. However, they showed that intention (expectation) was a significant predictor of actual RTW. Conclusion The conclusion is that RTW intention among individuals after sick leave due to CMDs has been narrowly investigated, with a lack of consistency in measurements. Future research should use behavioural-psychological theories to cover the concept "intention" in a more comprehensive and consistent manner.
Source: Hedlund Å, Health & social care in the community, 2021 Jan 28
Purpose Depression is a common mental health disorder, the symptoms of which can disrupt functioning and lead to reduced participation in everyday activities. Occupational therapy is routinely provided for people with such difficulties; however, the evidence underpinning this intervention for depression has yet to be systematically assessed. Methods A systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational therapy for people with a diagnosis of depression, using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) was undertaken. Seven databases were searched using terms for depression combined with terms associated with occupational therapy. Due to heterogeneity in study design and outcome measures, a best evidence synthesis was undertaken as an alternative to meta-analysis. Results Of 1962 articles identified, 63 full texts were assessed and six met the inclusion criteria. Studies were carried out in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. There was strong evidence for the effectiveness of occupational therapy return-to-work interventions for improving depression symptomology, limited evidence for occupational therapy lifestyle interventions for reducing anxiety and suicidal ideation, and limited evidence for improving work participation. No studies evaluated individualised client-centred occupational therapy, highlighting a gap in research.Incomplete reporting within studies and heterogeneity prevented meta-analysis. English language restrictions were applied. Conclusions Whilst overall the evidence base for occupational therapy for depression is limited, strong evidence was found for the effectiveness of occupational therapy return-to-work interventions, which is important given the costs associated with mental ill-health and work absence. Further research is needed to strengthen the evidence base.
Source: Christie L, Inman J, Davys D, Cook PA, Journal of affective disorders, 2021 Mar 01; Vol. 282, pp. 962-973
Purpose Long-term sick leave due to common mental disorders (CMDs) is an increasing problem, especially among women. To help these women return to work (RTW) sustainably, we need to know more about their own beliefs about RTW. One applicable theory is the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). Thus, the present study aimed to describe, based on the TPB, women's beliefs about RTW during or after long-term sick leave for a CMD. Methods A qualitative approach was used. Twenty women were included during a long-term sick leave period due to a CMD. A deductive content analysis was conducted using predetermined factors from the TPB: behavioural beliefs (advantages-disadvantages of RTW), normative beliefs (supporters and non-supporters of RTW), and control beliefs (facilitators of-barriers to RTW). Results The women believed that RTW would give them meaning and balance in life, but also that it would be challenging to maintain balance after RTW. They believed they had several supporters of RTW, but that the support was sometimes perceived as stressful rather than encouraging. Furthermore, individual adaptation and high demands were the most mentioned facilitator and barrier, respectively. Workplace conditions and personal strategies were thought to be important aspects. Conclusions By using the TPB, the present study was able to offer new findings on women's beliefs about RTW after long-term sick leave for a CMD. Based on the findings, we suggest that various RTW stakeholders should focus on striving to provide the tasks and work pace women need so they can maintain their professional competence and sense of meaning.
Source: Hedlund Å, Boman E, Kristofferzon ML, Nilsson A, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Jan 25
Background Common mental disorders present the main reason for registered sick leave in Sweden today, and women are at a higher risk of such sick leave than men. The aim of our study was to explore how the experiences of work- and home-related demands as well as resources influence return-to-work among employees sick-listed for common mental disorders in Sweden. Specifically, we aimed to explore similarities and differences in patterns of experiences among women and men.Methods A qualitative design with semi-structured focus group interviews was applied. One pilot interview and six additional focus groups, with a total of 28 participants, were conducted. The focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data was analyzed with conventional content analysis.Results The analysis resulted in four main categories and eight sub-categories. While the study aim was to explore aspects of work and home, additional considerations related to internal demands and involved actors were also found. The main and sub-categories were "Home-related demands and resources" (sub-categories: "Not on sick leave for home-related demands", "Feeling responsible for relationships and the well-being of others", "An affected economy" and "Finding energizing activities and creating routines"), "Work-related demands and resources" (sub-categories: "Encountering tough emotions and an over-bearing feeling of responsibility at work", "Continued work-related demands create un-certainty about the future", "Loss of boundaries" and "(Desired) support from managers and colleagues"), "Internal demands and resources" and "Demands and resources linked to involved actors". The experiences described among women and men were similar in some categories while patterns of experiences differed in others.Conclusions Home-related demands and resources influence return-to-work among women and men sick-listed for common mental disorders in Sweden, also when work-related demands are experienced as the main reason for the sick leave period. Furthermore, several of these aspects were described differently among women and men, which highlights the need to consider possible gender differences in relation to return-to-work, while maintaining attention to individual variations.
Source: Nybergh L, Bergström G, Hellman T, BMC public health, 2020 Dec 17; Vol. 20 (1), pp. 1914.
Background In an earlier study, PRIM-CARE RCT, a care manager implementation at the primary care centre showed improved return to work and reduced sick leave for patients with CMD. To further improve return to work, the project Co-Work-Care added a person-centered dialogue meeting between the patient, the employer and the rehabilitation coordinator, preceded by an increased collaboration between care manager, rehabilitation coordinator and GP. In this first qualitative study of the Co-Work-Care project, we explored how care managers and rehabilitation coordinators experienced the Co-Work-Care model. The purpose of this study was to explore care managers' and rehabilitation coordinators' perceptions and experiences of a close collaboration and the use of the person-centred dialogue meeting. Methods From an ongoing RCT with 20 primary care centres, care managers (CMs) (n = 13) and rehabilitation coordinators (RCs) (n = 12) participated in a qualitative study with focus groups. The study was conducted in the primary health care in a Swedish region. The data was analysed with Systematic Text Condensation by Malterud. Results Seven codes describing the participants' experiences of the Co-Work-Care model were identified: 1) The importance of collaboration at the primary care centre, 2) Collaboration and division of roles between the RC and the CM, 3) Collaboration with the General practitioner (GP), 4) The person-centred dialogue meeting, 5) Initiating the person-centred dialogue meeting, 6) The person-centred dialogue meeting to improve collaboration with the employer, and 7) The person-centred dialogue meeting to teach about the return to work process. Conclusion The increased collaboration within the Co-Work-Care model created a common picture and understanding of the patient's situation. The person-centred dialogue meeting in the rehabilitation process became a bridge between the employer and the patient.
Source: Petersson EL, Törnbom K, Hange D, Nejati S, Jerlock M, Wikberg C, Björkelund C, Svenningsson I, BMC family practice, 2020 Dec 18; Vol. 21 (1), pp. 272.