Effectiveness of adding a workplace intervention to an inpatient multimodal occupational rehabilitation program: A randomized clinical trial
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objectives This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a workplace intervention (WI) added to an inpatient multimodal occupational rehabilitation program (I-MORE) on sickness absence. Methods In this researcher-blinded randomized controlled trial with parallel groups, individuals on sick leave due to musculoskeletal, unspecified- or common mental health disorders were randomized to I-MORE (N=87) or I-MORE+WI (N=88). I-MORE lasted 2+1 weeks (with one week at home in between) and consisted of "acceptance and commitment therapy", physical exercise, and work-related problem solving. The additional WI consisted of a preparatory part, a workplace meeting involving the sick-listed worker, the employer, and the primary rehabilitation therapist at the rehabilitation center, and follow-up work related to the meeting. The primary outcomes were number of sickness absence days and time until sustainable return to work (RTW) during 12 months of follow-up, measured by registry data. Results The median number of sickness absence days during the 12-month follow-up for I-MORE was 115 days [interquartile range (IQR) 53–183] versus 130 days (IQR 81–212) for I-MORE+WI. The difference between groups was not statistically significant (P=0.084). The hazard ratio for sustainable RTW was 0.74 (95% confidence interval 0.48–1.16; P=0.192) in favor of I-MORE. Conclusions This study provided no evidence in favor of I-MORE+WI compared to only I-MORE for long-term sickness absent individuals with musculoskeletal-, common mental- or unspecified disorders.