TITLE

Effect of a multidisciplinary stress treatment programme on the return to work rate for persons with work-related stress. A nonrandomized controlled study from a stress clinic

AUTHOR(S)
Netterstrøm, Bo; Bech, Per
PUB. DATE
January 2010
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10, p658
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: In recent years an increasing number of patients have been referred to the medical sector with stress symptoms. Moreover, these conditions imply increased sickness absence. This indicates a need for treatment programmes in general medical practice. The aim of this study was to test the effect of a multidisciplinary stress treatment programme on the return to work (RTW) rate in persons with work-related stress and establish predictive factors for this outcome. Methods: During a two-year period 63 out of 73 referrals to the Stress Clinic (a section of a Clinic of Occupational Medicine) completed a stress treatment programme consisted of the following: 1) Identification of relevant stressors. 2. Changing the coping strategies of the participants. 3. Evaluating/changes in participant workload and tasks. 4. Relaxation techniques. 5. Physical exercise. 6. Psychiatric evaluation when indicated by depression test score. On average each patient attended six one-hour sessions over the course of four months. A group of 34 employees referred to the Clinic of Occupational Medicine by their general practitioners served as a control group. Each participant had a one-hour consultation at baseline and after four months. A specialist in occupational medicine carried out all sessions. Return To Work (RTW), defined as having a job and not being on sick leave at the census, was used as outcome measure four months after baseline, and after one and two years. Results: The level of sick leave in the stress treatment group dropped from 52% to 16% during the first four months of follow-up and remained stable. In the control group, the reduction in sick leave was significantly smaller, ranging from 48% at baseline to 27% after four months and 24% after one year. No statistically significant difference between the two groups was observed after one and two years. Age below 50 years and being a manager increased the odds ratio for RTW after one and two years, while gender and depression had no predictive value. Conclusions: The stress treatment programme showed a significant effect on the return to work rate. The stress treatment programme seems feasible for general practitioners. Trial Registration: ISRCTN04354658.
ACCESSION #
55564366

 

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