Follow-up of persons on long-term sick-leave. a cohort study in the city of Moss

Bjørndal, A.

Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening Tidsskrift for Praktisk Medicin Ny Raekke 114(24): 2857-2862

1994


ISSN/ISBN: 0029-2001
PMID: 7998036
Accession: 046110763

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Abstract
Follow-up of people on long-term sickness leave has been a priority for central and local authorities for a number of years. In this study we have followed a cohort of such people from the city of Moss. We wanted to find out how many returned to work, and who these were. The cohort consisted of 1,975 persons. Median age was 45 years (25-75 percentile: 35-54 years). 55% were women. Median follow-up time was two years and four months. Incidence of long-term sickness leave (more than eight weeks off sick) was 4.2 per month per 1,000 persons between 16 and 66 years of age. Less than half (47%) of those who had been off sick for more than eight weeks were working at follow-up. Few people were recruited to active rehabilitation programmes; for instance new education and on-the-job training. Age, especially from 45 years and upwards, many earlier sickness leaves and diagnosis (persons with psychiatric and other diagnoses did worst) influenced the result towards inactivity. When tested by multivariate analysis these variables explained little of the total variation in re-entry to the job market. A separate study of a random sample who were offered more time and indepth counselling showed no effect on job status at follow-up. Most probably, the success or lack of success are dominated by two factors which we could not measure directly; the seriousness of the medical condition and the climate on the labour market.