Healthcare encounters and return to work: a qualitative study on sick-listed patients' experiences.
2014 (English)In: Primary Health Care Research and Development, ISSN 1463-4236, E-ISSN 1477-1128, Vol. 15, no 4, 464-475 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Sickness absence is a complex phenomenon affected by aspects other than disease. One important factor that can affect sick leave is the individual's experience of healthcare encounters. It is therefore essential to consider the quality of the encounter with health professionals and its impact on the patient's rehabilitation and return to work.
AIM: The aim was to explore how sick-listed patients in Sweden perceive their contact with healthcare professionals in primary healthcare and to analyse what they view as crucial components for returning to work.
METHODS: A qualitative approach was used. Data were collected by semi-structured telephonic interviews with patients who were or had been on sick leave. The transcribed interview text was analysed according to qualitative content analysis.
FINDINGS: The analysis revealed two themes that highlight important areas for persons on sick leave in their healthcare encounters. The theme 'Trust in the relationship' contains categories describing the patients' feelings of participation, and of being believed, confirmed, and listened to, and also dedication on the part of healthcare providers. Healthcare encounters that were characterised by professionalism, knowledge, continuity, and a holistic approach seemed to create trust. The theme 'Structure and balance' contains the participants' views on important factors that could support the return-to-work process. All participants stated the importance of follow-up and a plan for rehabilitation. Sick leave itself can make a person passive, and participants in this study asked for support to balance activity, exercise, and work demands, which could facilitate their return to work.
CONCLUSION: Healthcare professionals can facilitate sick-listed persons' rehabilitation back to work by providing a clear structure in the process and support in occupational balance. The healthcare encounters must build on a mutual trust.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2014. Vol. 15, no 4, 464-475 p.
Other Health Sciences
Research subject Occupational therapy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96990DOI: 10.1017/S1463423614000255PubMedID: 25098326OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96990DiVA: diva2:785102