Presentation M O3

M O3 (Oral Presentation):
Do expectancies of return to work and overall job satisfaction predict actual return to work?

Presented by: Jon Opsahl


Opsahl J1, Eriksen HR1, Tveito TH1

  1. Uni Health, Uni Research, Bergen, Norway



Musculoskeletal disorders including low back pain have major individual and socioeconomic consequences as it often leads to disability and sick leave. Predictors of disability and return to work often differs, hence it is important to identify key predictors for return to work. The aim of the study was to assess if expectancies of return to work and overall job satisfaction predicts actual return to work after 12 months, among employees with long lasting low back pain. In addition, potential gender differences were explored.


Data from the cognitive interventions and nutritional supplements trial was used. Predictors for return to work was examined in 574 employees sick listed 2-10 months for low back pain. Data were analysed with multiple logistic regression models stratified by gender, and adjusted for potential confounders.


Having high expectancies of returning to work was a significant and strong predictor for returning to work at 12 months regardless of gender. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors and other covariates, female- and male workers with high expectancies had respectively 3.11 (95% CI=1.46-6-63) and 4.77 (95% CI=2.21-10.25) higher odds of returning to work compared to their respective counterparts with low or some expectancies of RTW. Overall, being very satisfied or satisfied with the job did not predict RTW at 12 months for either the men (OR=1.36, 95 % CI=0.40-4.64) or the women (OR=2.17, 95% CI=0.87-5.39). Men had higher odds of returning to work compared to women (OR 1.71, 95% CI= 1.03-5.78). Men and women reported similar levels of expectancies and overall job satisfaction.


Among individuals with long lasting low back pain high expectancies of returning to work were strongly associated with successful return to work. Screening expectancies and giving individuals with low expectancies interventions targeted at changing expectancies of return to work, such as CBT or self-management interventions, may contribute to increase actual return to work.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
10:45 - 12:15 Morning Concurrent Sessions (M O1 - M O12 and Seminar 1)
Session: Predictors of Work Disability
Room B