Presentation T O9

T O9 (Oral Presentation):
Effectiveness of a problem-solving based intervention to prolong the working life of ageing workers

Presented by: Wendy Koolhaas


Koolhaas W1, Groothoff JW1, De Boer MR2, Van der Klink JJL1, Brouwer S1

  1. Department of Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  2. Department of Health Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Due to the ageing workforce, evidence-based interventions are needed to prepare workers for the prospects of working longer. Whereas most interventions to extend working life are based on promoting workers’ health, the intervention ‘Staying healthy a work’ provides a self-directed cognitive behavioural strategy to enhance the problem-solving capacity of ageing workers towards sustainable employability. The effectiveness of the problem-solving based intervention compared to usual business is evaluated.


This study was designed as a quasi-experimental trial with a 1-year follow-up. Measurements were performed at baseline, three and 12 months. The problem-solving based intervention provides a strategy to increase the awareness of ageing workers with regard to their role and responsibility to create a sustainable healthy working life. The primary outcomes were work ability, vitality and productivity. Secondary outcomes were perceived fatigue, psychosocial work characteristics, work attitude, self-efficacy, and work engagement.


Analyses were performed for 64 workers in the intervention and 61 workers in the usual business group respectively. No effects on productivity and adverse effects on work ability (B=-1.33, 95%CI -2.45 to -0.20) and vitality (OR=0.10, 95%CI 0.02-0.46) were found. Positive results were found for the secondary outcomes work attitude (B = 5.29, 95%CI 9.59 to 0.99), the self-efficacy persistence subscale (B = 1.45, 95%CI 0.43-2.48) and subscale skill discretion of the psychosocial work characteristics (B = 1.78, 95%CI 0.74-2.83).


The results of the problem-solving intervention showed no positive effects on the three outcome measures compared to usual business. Effectiveness was shown on three of the secondary outcome measures, i.e. work attitude, self-efficacy and skill discretion. Workers in the intervention group were better able to identify or discover effective solutions for specific problem encountered in working life compared to workers in the usual business group who received an annual appraisal.

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
10:45 - 12:15 Morning Concurrent Sessions (T O1 - T O12 and Seminar 4)
Session: Work disability in ageing workers
Room A