[Proactive monitoring of sickness absence for psychosocial problems]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 158, (2014), pp. A7387
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Psychosocial problems are common in daily practice. These problems are the cause of 30% of absence from work due to sickness. Almost one third of workers with common mental disorders experience recurrent sickness absence. Although general practitioner (GP) and occupational physician (OP) guidelines have suggested monitoring these patients, these doctors are not used to doing this. Dutch researchers studied a problem-solving intervention (SHARP-at work) for evaluating the effectiveness of preventing recurrent sickness absence. Although the researchers found a decrease in recurrent sickness absence, it is not clear whether this effect was caused by the intervention or by the extra contacts between doctor and employee. Support and empathy are non-specific factors which could explain these positive findings in themselves. Given the findings in this study, GPs and OPs should be more aware of the importance of proactive monitoring of patients with common mental disorders after they have returned to work.
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