Purpose: In Germany, return to work (RTW) after inpatient treatment for common mental disorders (CMDs) is a complex process at the intersection of the mental healthcare system and the workplace. This study examined (1) the time to first and full RTW and (2) associated factors among employees receiving inpatient treatment for CMDs.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study, employees receiving inpatient psychiatric or medical rehabilitation treatment for CMDs were interviewed by phone during their last week before discharge. Follow-up interviews were conducted after 6, 12, and 18 months. Health-, personal, and work-related factors were used from baseline measurement. Parametric survival analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with time to first and full RTW.
Results: A total of N = 269 participants who stayed at a psychiatric clinic or a medical rehabilitation facility were included. Almost all participants (n = 252, 94%) from both treatment settings reported a first RTW and a full RTW. The time to first and full RTW was shortest among participants from medical rehabilitation (both median 6 days) and longer among participants from psychiatric treatment (median 17 days to first RTW and 73 days to full RTW). While only health-related and personal factors were associated with time to first RTW, leadership quality and needed individual RTW support were associated with time to full RTW.
Conclusions: More attention to work accommodation needs for RTW in clinical practice and coordinated actions towards RTW in collaboration with key RTW stakeholders in the workplace may support a timely RTW.
This article is published in the "Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation", Volume 32, Issue 1, pp. 114-127.
First Online: 29 May 2021
A. Sikora, G. Schneider, U. Wegewitz, U. Bültmann:
Employees Receiving Inpatient Treatment for Common Mental Disorders in Germany: Factors Associated with Time to First and Full Return to Work.
in: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, Volume 32, Issue 1 2022. pages 114-127, Project number: F 2385, DOI: 10.1007/s10926-021-09985-4
© Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health