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Who returns to work after sick leave and why? Implications for the effectiveness of interventions for musculoskeletal disorders 

Who returns to work after sick leave and why? Implications for the effectiveness of interventions for musculoskeletal disorders
Chapter:
Who returns to work after sick leave and why? Implications for the effectiveness of interventions for musculoskeletal disorders
Author(s):

Alex Burdorf

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199683901.003.0009
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date: 02 April 2020

The cost-effectiveness of interventions on musculoskeletal disorders is largely determined by the duration of sick leave. Hence, return to work is an increasingly important outcome in occupational health. There is a large array of prognostic factors for return to work, such as individual characteristics, work-related factors, pain and functional limitations, and general health perceptions. Interestingly, the predictive power of those prognostic factors is often limited and interventions often do not address these factors. The available evidence points at a large heterogeneity in effectiveness of interventions. It can be demonstrated that this heterogeneity can be partly explained by the characteristics of the population and the timing of the specific delivery in that population. Hence, the effectiveness of an intervention is not a fixed trait, and generalizability across different populations must be queried. Return to work intervention should take into consideration contextual aspects, such as insurance system, health care setting, and work beliefs.

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