Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Researchers: Professor Finn Diderichsen, Dr Karsten Thielen, and Dr Ulla Christensen,, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen
Funder: Danish Work Environment research Fund

Aims: The overall objective was to gain insight into the return to work (RTW) process of employees sick listed due to common mental disorders (CMD) using a mixed-method design. Two research questions were examined:

  1. Which factors related to the individual employee, their environment, and health status are predictive of time to RTW?
  2. How do employees with CMD experience the RTW-process and the encounters with stakeholders from the health, personal, social insurance, and work system?

Design: The participants were employees who suffered from CMD, and had applied for sickness absence benefits to the Job Centre Copenhagen (a sub-unit of the municipality) between July 2007 to December 2007 (n=721). Data on RTW was retrieved from a national sickness absence registry and from six-month follow-up questionnaires (n=226). The project included data from the administrative system, survey data and in-depth interviews with selected participant (n=16).

Nielsen, M.B., Bültmann, U., Amby, M., Christensen, U., Diderichsen, F. and Rugulies, R. (2010) Return to work among employees with common mental disorders: Study design and baseline findings from a mixed-method follow-up study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 38(8): 864-72