Ineffective disability management by doctors is an obstacle for return-to-work: a cohort study on low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months

Anema, J. R., van der Giezen, A. M., Buijs, P. C. and van Mechelen, W. (2002) Ineffective disability management by doctors is an obstacle for return-to-work: a cohort study on low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months. Occupational and environmental medicine, 59 11: 729-733. doi:10.1136/oem.59.11.729


Author Anema, J. R.
van der Giezen, A. M.
Buijs, P. C.
van Mechelen, W.
Title Ineffective disability management by doctors is an obstacle for return-to-work: a cohort study on low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months
Journal name Occupational and environmental medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1351-0711
Publication date 2002-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/oem.59.11.729
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 59
Issue 11
Start page 729
End page 733
Total pages 5
Place of publication London
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract ims: To determine obstacles for return-to-work in disability management of low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months. Methods: A cohort of 467 low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months was recruited. A questionnaire was sent to their occupational physicians (OPs) concerning the medical management, obstacles to return-to-work, and the communication with treating physicians. Results: The OPs of 300 of 467 patients participated in this study. In many cases OPs regarded the clinical waiting period (43%), duration of treatment (41%), and view (25%) of the treating physicians as obstacles for return-to-work. Psychosocial obstacles for return-to-work such as mental blocks, a lack of job motivation, personal problems, and conflicts at work were all mentioned much less frequently by OPs. In only 19% of the patients was there communication between OP and treating physician. Communication almost always entailed an exchange of information, and less frequently an attempt to harmonise the management policy. Surprisingly communication was also limited, when OPs felt that the waiting period (32%), duration of treatment (30%), and view (28%) of treating physicians inhibited return-to-work. Communication was significantly associated with the following obstacles for return-to-work: passivity with regard to return-to-work and clinical waiting period; adjusted odds ratios were 3.35 and 2.23, respectively. Conclusions: Medical management of treating physicians is often an obstacle for return to work regarding low back pain patients sicklisted for 3–4 months, in the opinion of OPs. Nevertheless communication between OPs and the treating physicians in disability management of these patients is limited. More attention to prevention of absenteeism and bilateral communication is needed in medical courses.
Keyword back pain
disability management
return to work
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 03 Apr 2009, 23:17:06 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences