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The effectiveness of the "Brainwork Intervention" in reducing sick leave for unemployed workers with psychological problems: design of a controlled clinical trial.

Audhoe SS, Nieuwenhuijsen K, Hoving JL, Sluiter JK, Frings-Dresen MH - BMC Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Studies investigating the effectiveness of return-to-work (RTW) interventions on these workers, who are without an employment contract, are scarce.The primary outcome measure is the duration of sick leave.The cost-benefit analysis will be evaluated from an insurer's perspective.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Academic Medical Center, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health/ Research Center for Insurance Medicine, University of Amsterdam, PO BOX 22700, 1100 DE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. s.s.audhoe@amc.uva.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Among the working population, unemployed, temporary agency and expired fixed-term contract workers having psychological problems are a particularly vulnerable group, at risk for sickness absence and prolonged work disability. Studies investigating the effectiveness of return-to-work (RTW) interventions on these workers, who are without an employment contract, are scarce. Therefore, a RTW intervention called 'Brainwork' was developed. The objective of this paper is to describe the 'Brainwork Intervention' and the trial design evaluating its effectiveness in reducing the duration of sick leave compared to usual care.

Methods/design: The 'Brainwork Intervention' is designed to assist unemployed, temporary agency and expired fixed-term contract workers who are sick-listed due to psychological problems, with their return to work. The 'Brainwork Intervention' uses an activating approach: in the early stage of sick leave, workers are encouraged to exercise and undertake activities aimed at regaining control and functional recovery while job coaches actively support their search for (temporary) jobs. The content of the intervention is tailored to the severity of the psychological problems and functional impairments, as well as the specific psychosocial problems encountered by the sick-listed worker. The intervention study is designed as a quasi-randomized controlled clinical trial with a one-year follow-up and is being conducted in the Netherlands. The control group receives care as usual with minimal involvement of occupational health professionals. Outcomes are measured at baseline, and 4, 8 and 12 months after initiation of the program. The primary outcome measure is the duration of sick leave. Secondary outcome measures are: the proportion of subjects who returned to work at 8 and 12 months; the number of days 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. The cost-benefit analysis will be evaluated from an insurer's perspective.

Discussion: The methodological considerations of the study design are discussed. In this trial we evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention in real occupational health practice, rather than under highly controlled circumstances. The results will be published in 2015.

Trial registration number: NTR4190. Date of registration: September 27(th) 2013.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Brainwork Intervention.
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Fig1: Brainwork Intervention.

Mentions: The Brainwork Intervention uses an activating approach: in the early stage of sick leave, the sick-listed workers are encouraged to exercise and undertake activities aimed at regaining control and functional recovery, while job coaches actively support their search for (temporary) jobs. The tailored content of the intervention varies depending on the severity of the psychological problems and specific psychosocial problems the sick-listed worker must address. The components of the intervention include an exercise program, vocational training, gym membership and attention tailored to their mental and/or psychosocial problems. All interventions are combined with guidance from vocational rehabilitation agencies and explicit goals and timetables for recovery (see FigureĀ 1 for an overview of the Brainwork Interventions per category). It is expected that this approach will lead to functional recovery and reduction of sick leave duration of the sick-listed worker.Figure 1


The effectiveness of the "Brainwork Intervention" in reducing sick leave for unemployed workers with psychological problems: design of a controlled clinical trial.

Audhoe SS, Nieuwenhuijsen K, Hoving JL, Sluiter JK, Frings-Dresen MH - BMC Public Health (2015)

Brainwork Intervention.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4413996&req=5

Fig1: Brainwork Intervention.
Mentions: The Brainwork Intervention uses an activating approach: in the early stage of sick leave, the sick-listed workers are encouraged to exercise and undertake activities aimed at regaining control and functional recovery, while job coaches actively support their search for (temporary) jobs. The tailored content of the intervention varies depending on the severity of the psychological problems and specific psychosocial problems the sick-listed worker must address. The components of the intervention include an exercise program, vocational training, gym membership and attention tailored to their mental and/or psychosocial problems. All interventions are combined with guidance from vocational rehabilitation agencies and explicit goals and timetables for recovery (see FigureĀ 1 for an overview of the Brainwork Interventions per category). It is expected that this approach will lead to functional recovery and reduction of sick leave duration of the sick-listed worker.Figure 1

Bottom Line: Studies investigating the effectiveness of return-to-work (RTW) interventions on these workers, who are without an employment contract, are scarce.The primary outcome measure is the duration of sick leave.The cost-benefit analysis will be evaluated from an insurer's perspective.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Academic Medical Center, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health/ Research Center for Insurance Medicine, University of Amsterdam, PO BOX 22700, 1100 DE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. s.s.audhoe@amc.uva.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Among the working population, unemployed, temporary agency and expired fixed-term contract workers having psychological problems are a particularly vulnerable group, at risk for sickness absence and prolonged work disability. Studies investigating the effectiveness of return-to-work (RTW) interventions on these workers, who are without an employment contract, are scarce. Therefore, a RTW intervention called 'Brainwork' was developed. The objective of this paper is to describe the 'Brainwork Intervention' and the trial design evaluating its effectiveness in reducing the duration of sick leave compared to usual care.

Methods/design: The 'Brainwork Intervention' is designed to assist unemployed, temporary agency and expired fixed-term contract workers who are sick-listed due to psychological problems, with their return to work. The 'Brainwork Intervention' uses an activating approach: in the early stage of sick leave, workers are encouraged to exercise and undertake activities aimed at regaining control and functional recovery while job coaches actively support their search for (temporary) jobs. The content of the intervention is tailored to the severity of the psychological problems and functional impairments, as well as the specific psychosocial problems encountered by the sick-listed worker. The intervention study is designed as a quasi-randomized controlled clinical trial with a one-year follow-up and is being conducted in the Netherlands. The control group receives care as usual with minimal involvement of occupational health professionals. Outcomes are measured at baseline, and 4, 8 and 12 months after initiation of the program. The primary outcome measure is the duration of sick leave. Secondary outcome measures are: the proportion of subjects who returned to work at 8 and 12 months; the number of days 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. The cost-benefit analysis will be evaluated from an insurer's perspective.

Discussion: The methodological considerations of the study design are discussed. In this trial we evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention in real occupational health practice, rather than under highly controlled circumstances. The results will be published in 2015.

Trial registration number: NTR4190. Date of registration: September 27(th) 2013.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus