Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Dr Evelien Brouwers
Tilburg University
+31 466 2962

Funder: Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

Date: 2010-2013

Aims: To test the hypothesis that sick listed employees treated by occupational physicians (OPs) who are trained in and closely follow the guideline will have a shorter sick leave duration than those in the control group.

Design: RCT: the intervention group will be people with a common mental disorder, i.e. anxiety, depression, burnout or emotional distress, as the primary reason for sick leave at the time of study. OPs trained in the Dutch guideline ‘management of workers with common mental health problems by occupational physicians’ will be divided into groups of 6 – 10 OPs, and will gather for monthly meetings of approximately 1 hour, over 1 year. Using action research and focus group discussions it will be investigated which barriers OPs encounter in using the guideline. Subsequently, barriers will be explored and possible solutions will be discussed by means of a ‘plan, do, check, act’ cycle. The total duration of follow up will be 12 months and the primary outcome is time to full return to work defined as number of days between first day of sickness absence and first day of full return to work.