Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Researchers: PI: Prof Mark Gabbay, Fitness for Work Res. Group Liverpool with Institute of Employment Studies, Brighton; and Professor Ceri Philips, Health Economics Swansea.
Funder: North West Strategic Health Authority (now NHS NW)
Date: Completed
Aims: In addition to research questions address in National Evaluation aims to provide more in-depth evaluation of processes and outcomes of the Manchester pilot FFWS. However there will be a particular focus on outcomes in relation to mental health and possibly musculoskeletal problems & pain and on the impact upon primary care services of individual‘s presentation for sickness certification. New qualitative research will focus on two issues:
1. the reasons for individuals to present in primary care for a sick-note , specifically around intention(s) to work, mental health issues, stress, MUPS, perceptions and expectations of Primary Care.
2. GPs‘ perceptions and experiences of the FFWS, such as the ‗movement‘ of patients from primary care into other services, and the context of local work conditions
Design as for national evaluation: process and impact evaluation plus cost/benefit assessment (as in National Evaluation of FFWS pilots) plus new qualitative research.
Impact evaluation;
Primary Outcome – Sickness absence total for 6 months from referral and periods of repeat absence expressed as the Bradford Sickness Absence Score;
Secondary Outcomes:
1. Health, Wellbeing and QoL: (i) EQ-5D; (ii) Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale; (iii) Job Content Questionnaire (for employed) & type of employer- public/private, sector and size; (iv) SF 12 (4 week versions); (v) GHQ12
2. Healthcare utilisation supplemented by a Primary Care records search to investigate NHS costs.
3. Nested sub-category study: people with mild to moderate mental health and musculoskeletal problems: (i) HAD (mental health) & AUDIT (alcohol problems) scales; (ii) Pain Disability Questionnaire scores respectively. PIQ (6)
Qualitative Work: two strands: (1) Semi-structured interviews with approximately 20 patients referred on to the Manchester FFWS at baseline and 6 months later; (2) semi-structured interviews with 10 GPs in the Manchester FFWS region during the course of the FFWS pilot.
Differential impact/NHS: Analysis will consider differential impact by age, sex, deprivation, cause of absence (diagnosis), employed, unemployed, RTW intention, educational attainment, dependents & carer issues, etc. Also aims to look at differential impact on people with mild to moderate mental health problems and possibly with musculoskeletal conditions.