Presentation M P37

M P37 (Poster Presentation):
Workplace perspectives on return to work – a field study among dustmen and ambulance personnel.

Presented by: Kirsten Petersen Sr.


Petersen K1, Nielsen CV1, Larsen EL2

  1. MarselisborgCentret, Research & Development Public Health and Quality Improvement Central Denmark Region, Health Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark
  2. Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark



Return to work policies in Denmark recommends employees on long-time sick leave to return to work gradually rather than staying at home until full recovery is obtained. Research investigating the process of work reintegration is sparse, particularly how the return to work process is experienced by co-workers. This study is part of a larger project: Workplace perspectives on the return to work process, designed as four fieldworks in different worksites. The aim of the project is to investigate the process of work reintegration with particular focus on the interaction with co-workers. In this presentation we focus on the results from the fieldwork carried out among dustmen and ambulance personnel, - how the returning employee and co-workers experience the process of work reintegration


The study is designed as an ethnographic fieldwork at two worksites in the process of reintegrating a returning employee who has been absent from work due to musculoskeletal disorder and broken legs. The data consists of field-notes, policy documents, and transcribed text from individual - and group interviews with the returning employees and co-workers. The fieldwork was performed over a period of 5 months with a two-week follow-up after 4 months. The data material was analyzed by using an inductive approach, which helped identify the main themes. Based on the identified themes of importance in the return to work process viewed from the employees and the co-workers perspective, a theoretical frame of reference was developed which helped bring forward the interpretation.


The results of the study contribute with new knowledge on the process of work re-integration among male employees, - how they gradually manage to get back to work, how they cope with the daily challenges at the worksite, and the importance of their social position among co-workers.


The final results are presented at the conference.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Workplace