Health, work, and personal-related predictors of time to return to work among employees with mental health problems.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose: To identify health-, personal- and work-related factors
predictive of return to work (RTW) in employees sick-listed due
to common mental health problems, such as, stress, depression,
burnout, and anxiety. Methods: We distributed a baseline
questionnaire to employees applying for sickness absence
benefits at a large Danish welfare Department (n = 721). A
total of 298 employees returned the questionnaire containing
information on possible predictors of RTW. We followed up all
baseline responders for a maximum of one year in a national
registry of social transfer payments, including sickness absence
benefits. Results: At baseline, about 9% of respondents had
quit their job, 10% were dismissed and the remaining 82%
were still working for the same employer. The mean time to
RTW, measured from the first day of absence, was 25 weeks
(median = 21) and at the end of follow-up (52 weeks) 85%
had returned to work. In the fitted Cox model we found that
fulfilling the DSM-IV criteria for depression predicted a longer
time to RTW (HR: 0.61, CI: 0.45–0.84), whereas a better self-rated
health predicted a shorter time to RTW (HR: 1.18, CI: 1.03–1.34).
Employees working in the municipal (HR: 0.62, CI: 0.41–0.94)
and private sector (HR: 0.65, CI: 0.44–0.96) returned to work
slower compared to employees working in the governmental
sector. Gender, education, cohabitation, size of workplace, lowback
and upper-neck pain and employment at baseline did not
predict RTW. Conclusion: Our results indicate that time to RTW is
determined by both health- and work-related factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)1311-1316
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 37719369