Outpatient rehabilitation of workers with musculoskeletal disorders using structured workplace description
In most industrialized countries musculoskeletal disorders contribute considerably (25%) to illness induced work absence. A special interest to reduce worker absences exists in highly specialized industries such as jet manufacturing, where specific knowledge is hard to replace. We investigated the reduction and sustainability in sick leave days by a workplace oriented outpatient rehabilitation program based on structured information exchange between occupational physicians and therapists.
Sick leave days reduction and return-to-work-ratios were analysed for 79 male blue collar workers with musculoskeletal disease, who voluntarily participated in an outpatient rehabilitation treatment between 2002 and 2005. During rehabilitation therapy standardized workplace descriptions were given to the therapists and individual return-to-work (rtw) schemes were implemented. Therapy lasted from 3 to 4 weeks followed by workplace reintegration. Off-work-time was calculated from 0 to 6 years before and 0 to 3 years after rehabilitation from insurance and industrial medical reports.
A total of 97% of the patients returned to their original job at the workplace, usually directly after the rehabilitation. Average sick leave days per year were reduced from 48.8 +/- 32.8 days before to 34.2 +/- 37.3 days after the rehabilitation. The therapy interrupted an increase in sick leave days over the years stabilizing absence at a low level for at least 2 years. Duration of illness related work absence was the only significant predictor for sick leave reduction (P < 0.05). Other common risk factors for musculoskeletal diseases like smoking or body mass index did not significantly influence the therapeutic effect.
Our results support evidence that information exchange for workplace description and rehabilitation therapist may help to reduce sick leave days and achieve very high rtw-ratio. However it is important to observe the effects of this shared information for longer intervals.
Available from: Frans Nijhuis
- "Findings differed when subgroups are considered. Time contingent interventions were effective in physical complaints [15, 21, 23, 24]. Evidence was inconsistent about the effectiveness of time contingent interventions in psychological complaints. "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction In many Western countries, a vast amount of interventions exist that aim to facilitate return to work (RTW) after sickness absence. These interventions are usually focused on specific target populations such as employees with low back pain, stress-related complaints or adjustment disorders. The aim of the present study is to detect and identify characteristics of RTW interventions that generally facilitate return to work (i.e. in multiple target populations and across interventions). This type of knowledge is highly relevant to policy makers and health practitioners who want to deliver evidence based care that supports the employee's health and participation in labour. Methods We performed a keyword search (systematic literature review) in seven databases (period: 1994-2010). In total, 23 articles were included and assessed for their methodological quality. The characteristics of the interventions were evaluated as well. Results Early interventions, initiated in the first 6 weeks of the RTW process were scarce. These were effective to support RTW though. Multidisciplinary interventions appeared effective to support RTW in multiple target groups (e.g. back pain and adjustment disorders). Time contingent interventions in which activities followed a pre-defined schedule were effective in all physical complaints studied in this review. Activating interventions such as gradual RTW were effective in physical complaints. They have not been studied for people with psychological complaints. Conclusions Early- and multidisciplinary intervention and time-contingent-, activating interventions appear most effective to support RTW.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 04/2012; 22(4). DOI:10.1007/s10926-012-9359-z · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
Systematic collaboration between occupational physicians (OPs) and rehabilitation physicians (RPs) can improve occupational rehabilitation processes and outcomes. The JobReha discharge letter (JR-DL) is a key element of JobReha, a multilevel intervention for specific occupational rehabilitation of workers with musculoskeletal disorders. This feasibility study aims to analyse the perceived benefit and acceptance of the JR-DL as an instrument for improving the communication interface between RPs and OPs.
On the day of discharge from rehabilitation, the rehabilitation physician completed a JR-DL form containing relevant information on the rehabilitation measures undertaken during treatment and recommendations for return to work. The JR-DL was either transmitted to the patient's occupational physician directly or given to the patients to bring to the OP to support the reintegration process. The JR-DL as an instrument for improving the communication interface was evaluated using data from patient questionnaires (n = 250), JR-DLs (n = 247), OP questionnaires (n = 224) and RP questionnaires (n = 232).
All rehabilitation physicians sent a JR-DL to the respective occupational physician on the day of discharge. OPs received the reports a median 2 days after discharge. The content quality and relevance of the JR-DL for the reintegration process were rated high to moderate by more than 97.0 % of the OPs; 92.3 % of the patients received a recommendation to return to their previous workplace; 43.3 % returned with minor limitation; and the remaining 31.6 % with a recommendation for individual reintegration; 74.0 % of the workers returned to work within 3 days of discharge.
Use of the JR-DL for the improvement of communication and exchange of relevant information is feasible and supportive for both rehabilitation and occupational physicians. Its positive impact on reintegration and return to work was apparent. Delays in receipt of the JR-DL should be eliminated by appropriate quality assurance measures.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 08/2012; 86(6). DOI:10.1007/s00420-012-0805-1 · 2.20 Impact Factor
Available from: Noor Sazarina Mad Isa
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Substantial studies reported musculoskeletal disorders among the working population in the developed country, however, a limited number of studies were conducted in Malaysia. The objective of this cross sectional study was to determine the physical activity risk factors for low back pain among automotive workers in Selangor. Modified Risk Factors Questionnaire (RFQ) was used to assess physical activity with the occurrence of low back pain. The significant physical activities associated with the 12 months point prevalence are lifting weight (<5 kg and 11-23 kg) and climbing stairs, not using any mechanical lifting aid, and postures (extreme bending, pushing and pulling, standing, kneeling, and bending and twisting). These findings indicate that the occupational risk factors mainly the physical demands were significant risk for low back pain among manual material handling (MMH) workers. Work task and workstation design should be regularly evaluated and corrective measures need to be taken. In addition, proper lifting technique and occupational safety and health promotion program should be emphasized among MMH workers.
Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine 01/2014; 14(2):34-44. · 0.11 Impact Factor
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.