ETHNIC BACKGROUND DOES NOT INFLUENCE OUTCOME FOR RETURN-TO-WORK IN WORK-RELATED INTERDISCIPLINARY REHABILITATION FOR LONG-TERM PAIN: 1- AND 3-YEAR FOLLOW-UP
Background: It is often suggested that immigrants with long-term pain do not benefit from rehabilitation to the same extent as native Swedish patients. In this study, an 8-week rehabilitation programme was evaluated according to its adaptation for immigrants. Objectives: To establish whether there is a difference between immigrants and native Swedes concerning: (i) return-to-work, the patients' own estimation and their actual ability; (ii) higher level of activity; (iii) reduction in pain and analgesic use. Patients. A total of 67 patients with persistent non-malignant pain completed the rehabilitation programme. Thirty (45%) of the patients were immigrants. Methods: A 1- and a 3-year follow-up were made to compare the outcome between the 2 groups. Results: There was no significant difference in the return-to-work rate between immigrants and native Swedes. However, the patients' prediction of their ability to return to work was higher among the non-immigrants. The level of activity was lower and pain intensity and use of analgesics were higher among the immigrants than the non-immigrants. Conclusion: Immigrants can benefit from a rehabilitation programme to the same extent as native Swedes concerning return-to-work rate, but seem to have limitations in assimilating the other objectives of the programme.
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