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Significant resources needed for return to work after sick leave
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy.
2005 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, Vol. 25, no 3, 231-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are increasing numbers of people on long-term sick leave, especially with stress-related ill health and musculoskeletal disorders. The main purpose of this study is to, early on in the sick leave, find predictors of individual resources for a return to work. The study group consists of women and men on sick leave compared with reference groups of healthy persons. A questionnaire was used regarding diagnosis given on the doctor's certificate, self-reported symptoms, residential area, education, and kind of work. It also contained open questions about consequences in daily life and beliefs about future. Checklists concerning life satisfaction, sense of coherence, locus of control, coping resources and sick leave information over a four-year period have been used. Significant differences between the study group and the reference groups were found, relating to sense of coherence, locus of control, life satisfaction and coping resources. More than half of the study group were still on sick leave at a two-year follow-up. Important predictive factors turned out to be: previous sick leave, own belief about future and self-reported symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 25, no 3, 231-240 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7509PubMedID: 16179772OAI: diva2:147180
Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2008-01-10 Last updated: 2011-08-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sjukskrivnas resurser och hinder för återgång i arbete: viktiga faktorer för tidig bedömning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sjukskrivnas resurser och hinder för återgång i arbete: viktiga faktorer för tidig bedömning
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to identify factors that early in a sick leave period could illuminate people’s resources and obstacles for returning to work; factors that could predict need for professional support in the sick leave process leading to a positive outcome for the individual.

This thesis consists of four studies. The studied population was living in a rural part of a northern county in Sweden, and had been on sick leave for 28 days irrespective of diagnosis. The participants have been followed for five years with different investigation methods and subgroups of participants. The thesis was initiated by sending a questionnaire to the participants; the responses were compared to groups of healthy controls. The aim was to find predictors of the likelihood of a return to work that can be identified early in a sick leave period. The main focus was on individual mental resources (Study I). The next phase involved studies of sick leave statistics obtained from the Swedish Social Insurance Office, for the study population two years before and two years after the start of the research project. The material from the sick leave statistics was analysed together with responses from the questionnaire study with Partial Least Square (PLS). This was done to search for connections between the participants and factors of concern for sick leave and returning to work in different subgroups (Study II). In-depth interviews also were conducted to explore what the participants experienced as important in their sick leave process as they progressed back to work, or to long term sick leave or disability pension (Study III). Another study investigated client files in the Swedish Social Insurance Office to describe what information that was possible to find: in terms of medical and vocational rehabilitation including assessments, predictors for the outcome of the sick leave process, and the quality of the information in the files (Study IV).

The findings showed significantly lower life satisfaction and psychosocial resources in the study-group compared to the healthy controls. The PLS analysis showed that it was the impact of multiple factors that influenced the study group, and the PLS analysis could help with early prediction of the outcome. Important factors were: personal belief in an ability to work in the future, number of sick leave days in the past, diagnosis, self-evaluated symptoms, life satisfaction and sense of coherence, length of education and sector of employment, and many different consequences in daily life caused by activity limitations. The interview study confirmed these results and added the following important resources: confirmation and support, structural and contextual factors, and participation in the sick leave process. Ideal-types were crystallized that can be identified in the early phases of the sick leave process. The client file study showed that some information was possible to find but a majority of the wanted information was limited why an improvement on the quality of documentation is suggested to give better basis for the files.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, 2005. 92 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 979
Sick leave, work re-entry, disability pension, psychosocial factors, lived experiences, human occupations
Research subject
Social Medicine
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-591 (URN)91-7305-929-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-09-23, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2005-09-20 Created: 2005-09-20 Last updated: 2009-11-13Bibliographically approved

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