Presentation M P38

M P38 (Poster Presentation):
Occupational physicians' proactive contacting of managers

Presented by: Helena Liira


Liira H1,2, Kotronen A2, Liira J2,3

  1. University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  2. Mehiläinen Worklife Services, Helsinki, Finland
  3. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FIOH, Helsinki, Finland



When companies encounter difficulties and decreasing economies, supervisors and middle managers are in pressure. We carried out a social intervention in the occupational health services (OHS) of a vocational university that had to cut its budget. The OHS and the human resources management (HRM) agreed that occupational physicians (OPs) proactively telephone all the managers in the organization to support them before the change.


We planned the intervention and the study in cooperation with the HRM. The OPs applied a systematic survey in their calls to the managers. They asked about the work disability problems the managers are currently encountering, what is the experience of the manager with work disability problems and what support would they need for the change ahead. The OPs also asked the managers to assess the usefulness of the call and whether they would appreciate this kind of contacts in future. As background information the OPs registered the managers' gender, age, and years of experience as manager. The OPs made notes during the calls and also consulted them and provided support as needed.


A total of 95% of managers (81 out of 84) were interviewed by the OPs. The telephone conversations lasted from 10 to 40 minutes. The mean age of the managers was 50 years, and 63% of them were female. They had an average experience of being a manager of 10 years (range 1 to 36 years). 81% of the managers reported that there were major changes in the workplace that the OHS should be aware of. They were stressed because of the coming organizational changes and discharges by notice and the consequences of these to the content of their work. 57% of managers anticipated that their teams will need external support to overcome the changes. 62% of managers had earlier experience of dealing with work disability problems with OHS. They had participated in return to work processes, in the assessment of work ability and in solving conflicts among employees. 27% of managers recognized a current work disability concern in their employees that they wanted to solve with OHS, and many of these problems were dealt with earlier than what had happened without the calls. 77% wished for similar contacts from OPs in future.


Managers appreciated the telephone contacts from OPs. Proactive services from OHS may support companies in the process of change.

Schedule Details

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