2015-02-01 12:00 - Messages

Return to Work after sick leave due to mental health problems

The article will describe factors of influence on return to work RTW and evidence-based interventions that enhance return to work (RTW) after sick leave due to common mental health disorders (CMD). First the concepts of both RTW and CMD are outlined. Second, the sense of urgency for effective RTW interventions for workers with CMD is briefly described. Third, a variety of predictors of RTW are presented with respect to the disorder, personal factors, and environmental factors. Lastly, a brief description of usual care and an overview of effective RTW interventions will be provided. A final paragraph will provide some conclusions as to which measures at what level appear to be effective in return to work after sick leave due to mental health disorders.

Source: http://oshwiki.eu/wiki/Return_to_Work_after_sick_leave_due_to_mental_health_problems

The Effect of Social Support Features and Gamification on a Web-Based Intervention for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Randomized Controlled Trial
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is chronic systematic disease that affects people during the most productive period of their lives. Web-based health interventions have been effective in many studies; however, there is little evidence and few studies showing the effectiveness of online social support and especially gamification on patients' behavioral and health outcomes.
Objective: The aim of this study was to look into the effects of a Web-based intervention that included online social support features and gamification on physical activity, health care utilization, medication overuse, empowerment, and RA knowledge of RA patients. The effect of gamification on website use was also investigated.
Methods: We conducted a 5-arm parallel randomized controlled trial for RA patients in Ticino (Italian-speaking part of Switzerland). A total of 157 patients were recruited through brochures left with physicians and were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 experimental conditions with different types of access to online social support and gamification features and a control group that had no access to the website. Data were collected at 3 time points through questionnaires at baseline, posttest 2 months later, and at follow-up after another 2 months. Primary outcomes were physical activity, health care utilization, and medication overuse; secondary outcomes included empowerment and RA knowledge. All outcomes were self-reported. Intention-to-treat analysis was followed and multilevel linear mixed models were used to study the change of outcomes over time.
Results: The best-fit multilevel models (growth curve models) that described the change in the primary outcomes over the course of the intervention included time and empowerment as time-variant predictors. The growth curve analyses of experimental conditions were compared to the control group. Physical activity increased over time for patients having access to social support sections plus gaming (unstandardized beta coefficient [B]=3.39, P=.02). Health care utilization showed a significant decrease for patients accessing social support features (B=–0.41, P=.01) and patients accessing both social support features and gaming (B=–0.33, P=.03). Patients who had access to either social support sections or the gaming experience of the website gained more empowerment (B=2.59, P=.03; B=2.29, P=.05; respectively). Patients who were offered a gamified experience used the website more often than the ones without gaming (t 91=–2.41, P=.02; U=812, P=.02).
Conclusions: The Web-based intervention had a positive impact (more desirable outcomes) on intervention groups compared to the control group. Social support sections on the website decreased health care utilization and medication overuse and increased empowerment. Gamification alone or with social support increased physical activity and empowerment and decreased health care utilization. This study provides evidence demonstrating the potential positive effect of gamification and online social support on health and behavioral outcomes.

Source: Ahmed Allam, Zlatina Kostova, Kent Nakamoto and Peter Johannes Schulz. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Jan; 17(1).

Stability of return to work after a coordinated and tailored intervention for sickness absence compensation beneficiaries with mental health problems

Results of a two-year follow-up study
Purpose: Mental health problems (MHPs) are increasingly common as reasons for long-term sickness absence. However, the knowledge of how to promote a stable return to work (RTW) after sickness absence due to MHPs is limited. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a multidisciplinary, coordinated and tailored RTW-intervention in terms of stability of RTW, cumulative sickness absence and labour market status after 2 years among sickness absence compensation beneficiaries with MHPs. Methods: In a quasi-randomised, controlled trial, we followed recipients of the intervention (n = 88) and of conventional case management (n = 80) for 2 years to compare their risk of recurrent sickness absence and unemployment after RTW, their cumulative sickness absence and their labour market status after 2 years. Results: We found no statistically significant intervention effect in terms of the risk of recurrent sickness absence or unemployment. Intervention recipients had more cumulated sickness absence in year one (mean difference = 58 days; p < 0.01) and year two (mean difference = 36 days; p = 0.03), and fewer were self-supported at the end of follow-up (52% versus 69%; p = 0.02). Conclusion: The intervention showed no benefits in terms of improved stability of RTW, reduced sickness absence or improved labour market status after 2 years when compared to conventional case management.

Source: Martin MH, Nielsen MB, Pedersen J, et al. Disability and Rehabilitation, 2015.

Return-to-work in patients with acquired brain injury and psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity

A systematic review
OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity and return-to-work (RTW) in individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI).
METHODS: A systematic review was performed. The search strategy (2002-2012) contained terms related to ABI, psychiatric comorbidity and keywords adapted to the outcome measure RTW. Selection and review were performed by two authors independently. In the case of uncertainty, a third author was consulted to reach consensus on inclusion or exclusion. The methodological quality of included studies was determined and evidence was classified.
RESULTS: Seven studies were included. Strong evidence was found for a negative association between psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity (like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder) and RTW of patients with ABI. Patients with a previous history of psychiatric disorders were at considerably higher risk for a new episode and lower RTW rates following ABI.
CONCLUSION and implications: Psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity after ABI are strong negatively associated with RTW. The heightened frequency of psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity after ABI and more important their amenability to treatment implicates that more attention should be paid to diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders as a comorbidity in patients with ABI in order to further improve re-integration in work.

Source: Garrelfs SF, Donker-Cools BH, Wind H, Frings-Dresen MH. Brain Inj, 2015: 1-8.

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