Presentation M O9

M O9 (Oral Presentation):
Effectiveness evaluation of a multifaceted implementation strategy of the participatory approach to optimize supervisor support for employees at risk for sick leave

Presented by: Frederieke Schaafsma


Kraaijeveld RA1, Schaafsma FG1, Boot CRL1,2, Bultmann U3, Anema JR1,2,4

  1. Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. Body@Work, Research Center Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO-VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  3. Department of Health Sciences, Community & Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  4. Research Centre for Insurance Medicine, collaboration between AMC-UMCG-UWV-VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



An effective workplace intervention for organisations to shorten sick leave episodes is the participatory approach (PA). The PA so far has been conducted by occupational health professionals (OHPs), but could also be applied directly by supervisors confronted with employees at risk for sick leave. We have developed a multifaceted strategy to implement the PA for supervisors within organisations. This strategy incorporates three components: (1) a working group with representatives of all stakeholders for the prevention of sick leave, (2) supervisor training, and (3) supervisor coaching by OHPs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the multifaceted implementation strategy of the PA within three organisations.


In a cluster randomised controlled trial, including three organizations, a multifaceted strategy to implement the PA is compared with a minimal strategy. Randomization took place at department level. Measurements took place at baseline and after six months using questionnaires. The primary outcome measure is self-efficacy of supervisors in joint problem solving to prevent sick leave. Secondary outcome measures at supervisor and employee level are i.a. attitude, self-efficacy, and social influence with regard to addressing situations of being at risk for sick leave. Changes in outcome variables between baseline and the follow-up measurement will be compared between the intervention and control group using (linear) multilevel analysis.


At baseline, 116 supervisors were included in the study, with n=61 (mean age 48) in the intervention group, and n=55 (mean age 47) in the control group. On average, all supervisors managed 27 employees, and had 9.5 years of supervisory experience. Eight supervisors in the intervention group reported being familiar with the PA, and four supervisors had already used the PA. In the control group, nine supervisors reported being familiar with the PA, but only one supervisor had ever used the PA. Follow up results will be available at the conference.


The multifaceted implementation strategy of the PA will be considered effective if the self-efficacy in joint problem-solving of supervisors in the intervention group will have a significant increase of 10% compared to the self-efficacy of supervisors in the control group.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
10:45 - 12:15 Morning Concurrent Sessions (M O1 - M O12 and Seminar 1)
Session: Supervisors’ involvement in Work Disability
Room A