Prognostic factors associated with return to work following multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation
TypePeer reviewed; Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
OBJECTIVES: The number of people in Western countries on long-term sick-leave and disability pension due to musculoskeletal complaints and psychological health problems is increasing. The main objective of this study was to examine whether fear-avoidance beliefs, illness perceptions, subjective health complaints, and coping are prognostic factors for return to work after multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation, and to assess the relative importance and inter-relationship of these factors. METHODS: A prospective cohort study with a 1-year follow-up period was performed. A total of 135 individuals on long-term sick-leave (87 women, mean age 45 years) participated in a 4-week inpatient multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation programme. The participants had been out of work for an average of 10.5 months. RESULTS: Fear-avoidance beliefs about work was the most important risk factor for not returning to work, both at 3 months (odds ratio (OR) 3.8; confidence interval (CI) 1.30–11.32) and 1 year (OR 9.5; CI 2.40–37.53) after the intervention. Forty-eight percent of the variance in fear-avoidance beliefs was explained by subjective health complaints, illness perceptions and education. Coping explained only 1% of the variance. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that interventions for these patients should target fear of returning to work and illness perceptions about subjective health complaints.
PublisherFoundation of Rehabilitation Information
Subjectmultidisciplinary vocational rehabilitationreturn to worksubjective health complaintsillness perceptionsfearavoidancecopingexpectancy
Copyright 2008 The Authors