The effect of work-focused rehabilitation among patients with neck and back pain: a randomized controlled trial

Kjersti Myhre, Gunn Hege Marchand, Gunnar Leivseth, Anne Keller, Erik Bautz-Holter, Leiv Sandvik, Bjørn Lau, Cecilie Røe

36 Citationer (Scopus)


STUDY DESIGN: Multicenter randomized trial with patients listed as sick for 1 to 12 months due to neck or back pain and referred to secondary care.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the return-to-work (RTW) rate among patients offered work-focused rehabilitation or multidisciplinary rehabilitation.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: A growing number of studies have focused on the RTW processes associated with patients with back pain. Many studies have combined a workplace focus with multidisciplinary treatments; however, this focus has not been evaluated in Norway among patients with neck and back pain thus far.

METHODS: A total of 405 patients who were referred to the spine clinics at 2 university hospitals in Norway were randomly assigned into work-focused and control intervention groups. The existing treatments at each hospital were used as the control interventions, which entailed either a comprehensive multidisciplinary intervention or a brief multidisciplinary intervention. The RTW rates and proportions were compared at 12 months.

RESULTS: During the first 12 months after inclusion, 142 (70%) participants in the work-focused rehabilitation group and 152 (75%) participants in the control group returned to work. The median time to RTW was 161 days in the work-focused group and 158 days in the control group. A comparison of the work-focused and control interventions revealed a relative RTW probability (hazard ratio) of 0.94 (95% confidence interval = 0.75-1.17) after adjusting for age, sex, and education.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that a focus on the workplace in specialist care does not substantially alter the RTW rate compared with standard multidisciplinary treatments.

Udgave nummer24
Sider (fra-til)1999-2006
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 15 nov. 2014


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