Presentation M P10

M P10 (Poster Presentation):
Return to work of sick-listed workers without a permanent employment contract

Presented by: Lieke Lammerts


Lammerts L1,2, Vermeulen SJ1,2, Schaafsma FG1,2, Van Mechelen W1, Anema JR1,2

  1. Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. Dutch Research Center for Insurance Medicine AMC-UMCG-UWV-VUmc, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



In most European countries the non-permanent employment rate has increased. At the same time, more people have become unemployed. In case these workers become sick-listed an obstacle for their return to work (RTW) is the absence of a workplace to return to. Mental disorders are a major cause of sickness absence within this group. Based on a successful participatory RTW program a RTW intervention was developed for workers without a permanent employment contract sick-listed due to a common mental disorder (CMD). Direct placement in a competitive job and integrated care were incorporated in the original protocol resulting in a participatory supportive RTW program.


This study investigates the cost-effectiveness of the participatory supportive RTW program compared to usual occupational health care (OHC) in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with two arms. The study population consists of workers without a permanent employment contract who applied for a sickness benefit at the Dutch Social Security Agency (SSA) and are sick-listed between two and fourteen weeks due to a CMD. The primary outcome is the duration in days from the day of enrolment in the study until first sustainable RTW in a competitive job for at least 28 consecutive days without recurrence of sickness absence. Measurements take place at baseline and three, six, nine and twelve months after enrolment in the study.


Results are expected in September 2015.


This study focuses on sick-listed workers who experience more barriers for RTW compared to sick-listed workers with a permanent employment contract. A RTW program that combines a participatory approach, direct placement in a competitive job and integrated care was developed to overcome these barriers. Direct placement in a competitive job has been investigated extensively as part of individual placement and support (IPS) programs for the severe mental ill. This study will increase knowledge about the effectiveness of this approach for workers with a CMD. Moreover, results of this study will indicate whether a participatory supportive RTW program improves RTW of a vulnerable group of workers and outweighs costs made by society and the Dutch SSA.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: RTW interventions