Mental illness is a major social problem. In Sweden, mental illness accounted for 50% of all sick leave for women and 39% for men in December 2022, at great cost to both the individual affected and society as a whole. Companies are losing workers and people of working age are at risk of being excluded from the labor market. Stress-related diagnoses, depression and anxiety (common mental disorders/CMD) make up 96% of psychiatric sick leave diagnoses for women and 93% for men (Source: Swedish Insurance Agency).
Problem-solving intervention with workplace involvement have been shown to shorten the time to first return to work and reduce the number of sickness absence days during the first year in studies from the Netherlands and a study in Swedish occupational health care. Primary health care also meets these patients, but in this case the intervention has not been tried. In addition to this, there are few studies that examine the effect of the intervention for a longer follow-up period than 12 months.
The overall aim of my doctoral research project is to test the effectiveness of a problem-solving intervention to reduce sickness absence days among employees currently on sickness absence due to a CMD. Further, the aim is to identify factors associated with the length of sickness absence, and increase the possibilities to return to, and remain at work. The thesis is based on two projects; one among a population at risk of future sick leave (secondary prevention), and the other among a population already on sick leave (a rehabilitative perspective).
The four research questions are:
- Is the problem-solving intervention more effective, compared to care-as-usual, in reducing the total number of days on sick leave due to CMDs during the 18-months follow-up period? (Study 1)
- Which individual and organizational factors, at baseline, predict number of registered sickness absence days during 18-months follow-up? (Study 2)
- What do employees perceive as facilitating and hindering factors towards remaining at work, despite having symptoms of CMDs? (Study 3)
- Under development
Physiotherapist, Bachelor of Science 2010. University of Gothenburg.
Master of Science (60 credits), with a major in physiotherapy 2021. University of Gothenburg.