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Scoping Review on determinants for a successful return-to-work and systematic overview on interventions to facilitate return to work among employees with mental disorders

Project number: F 2367 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Completed Project


The aim of the scoping review was to identify determinants for sickness absence and return to work (RTW) among people with mental disorders. There is consistent evidence that previous episodes of common mental disorders, higher symptom severity, previous absenteeism, co-morbidity, high job demands, low job control, high job strain, female gender, lower educational level, smoking behavior, and low perceived general health are predictors of sickness absence in people with common mental disorders. Earlier RTW is consistently predicted by lower symptom severity, having no previous absenteeism, younger age, and positive expectations concerning sick-leave duration or RTW.

Furthermore, some research gaps were identified that need further attention in primary and secondary studies. Additionally, an overview of reviews was conducted to generate a comprehensive overview over the effectiveness of RTW-interventions among people with mental disorders. Most identified RTW-interventions were psychological interventions. Of all examined interventions, workplace interventions and interventions based on problem solving therapy seem to be the most promising approaches for RTW. Overall, the included systematic reviews were of low quality and there was significant heterogeneity in content, intensity, delivery and duration of interventions, as well as control groups and included participants.


Unit 3.5 "Evidence-based Occupational Health, Workplace Health Management"

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