Work-focused therapy for common mental disorders: A naturalistic study comparing an intervention group with a waitlist control group
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionWork : A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation. 2020, 66 (3), 657-667. 10.3233/WOR-203208
BACKGROUND: Common mental disorders (CMD) are leading causes of sickness absence. Treatments for CMD that both reduce symptoms and support work participation urgently need to be developed. OBJECTIVE: Determine the potential effects of work-focused therapy combining work interventions with either meta cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (W-MCT/CBT) for patients with CMD on sick leave. METHODS: Naturalistic study with a quasi-experimental approach. Pre- and post-scores (return to work, symptoms, return-to-work self-efficacy, clinical recovery from depression and anxiety) were compared between the intervention group (n = 87) who received immediate treatment over an average of 10.40 sessions (SD = 3.09) and the non-randomized waitlist control group (n = 95) that had waited an average of 11.18 weeks (SD = 2.29). RESULTS: Significantly more patients returned fully to work in the intervention group (41.4%) than the control group (26.3%). Effect sizes for self-efficacy scores, depression and anxiety were large in the intervention group (d = 1.28, 1.01, 1.58), and significantly lower in the control group (d = 0.60, 0.14, 0.45). Significantly more patients in the treatment group than control group recovered from depression (54.1% vs. 12.8%) and anxiety (50.0% vs.10.6%). CONCLUSIONS: W-MCT/CBT may be an effective intervention for patients on sick leave due to CMD.