Purpose: The aim of this study were: a) using registry data to analyse which patients with disability from chronic pain that were offered participation in the rehabilitation programme after assessment in interdisciplinary teams, and b) to analyse if there were registry data features which could already before the programme predict a positive outcome, i.e. less sick leave.
Method: An observational study of data derived from 8509 patients, 2588 men and 5951, collected from the Swedish Quality Register for Pain Rehabilitation.
Results: Being a woman, having higher education and being on full time sick leave increased, whereas being unemployed or being of non-Swedish origin decreased the chance to be offered a rehabilitation programme. Patients with shorter time outside work had higher probability to be offered a programme. On the other hand, the strongest predictive factors for a return to work were not being on full time sick leave and employment situation as well as patients’ own beliefs and expectations.
Conclusion: It seemed that variables that measured pain and its health consequences were of less importance for the future sick leave situation. It is possible that contextual factors not covered by the registry may play a crucial role here.
Key words: Chronic pain, sick leave benefits, pain rehabilitation, register study.