Content » Vol 53, Issue 1

Original report

Return-to-work self-efficacy after occupational rehabilitation for musculoskeletal and common mental health disorders: Secondary outcomes of a randomized clinical trial

Martin Skagseth, Marius S. Fimland, Marit B. Rise, Tom Ivar Lund Nilsen, Lene Aasdahl
Department of Public Health and Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2787

Abstract

Objective: To assess the effects of adding a workplace intervention to inpatient occupational rehabilitation on return-to-work self-efficacy, and whether changes in return-to-work self-efficacy were associated with future work outcomes.
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Subjects: Individuals aged 18–60 years, sick-listed 2–12 months were randomized to multimodal inpatient rehabilitation with (n?=?88) or without (n?=?87) a workplace intervention.
Methods: Between-group differences for 4 months follow-up were assessed using linear mixed models. Associations between self-efficacy scores and future sickness absence days during 12 months of follow-up were assessed by linear regression.
Results: There were no statistically significant between-group differences in self-efficacy during follow-up. Participants with high or medium self-efficacy scores at the end of rehabilitation had fewer sickness absence days during follow-up compared with participants with low scores. Participants with consistently high scores or an increasing score throughout the programme showed fewer sickness absence days than those with reduced or consistently low scores.
Conclusion: Receiving an added workplace intervention did not increase return-to-work self-efficacy more than standard inpatient occupational rehabilitation alone. High scores and a positive development in return-to-work self-efficacy were associated with higher work participation. This suggests that return-to-work self-efficacy could be an important factor to consider in the return-to-work process.

Lay Abstract

Return-to-work self-efficacy is related to a person’s beliefs about coping with challenges related to return-to-work after sick leave. Several studies have suggested that having high return-to-work self-efficacy is associated with shorter time to return-to-work. This study assessed the effect of adding a workplace intervention to standard inpatient occupational rehabilitation on return-to-work self-efficacy, and whether changes in return-to-work self-efficacy were associated with future work outcomes. The results showed no difference in return-to-work self-efficacy between the participants receiving the added workplace intervention compared with the participants receiving only the standard inpatient occupational rehabilitation. However, participants with a high- or an increasing score in return-to-work self-efficacy had less sickness absence in the follow-up period. This suggests that return-to-work self-efficacy is important in the process of return-to-work after sickness absence.

Supplementary content

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