Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 623–632 | Cite as

The First Six Years of Building and Implementing a Return-to-Work Service for Patients with Acquired Brain Injury. The Rapid-Return-to-Work-Cohort-Study

  • L. Haveraaen
  • E. P. M. Brouwers
  • U. Sveen
  • L. S. Skarpaas
  • H. Sagvaag
  • R. W. AasEmail author


Background and objective Despite large activity worldwide in building and implementing new return-to-work (RTW) services, few studies have focused on how such implementation processes develop. The aim of this study was to examine the development in patient and service characteristics the first six years of implementing a RTW service for persons with acquired brain injury (ABI). Methods The study was designed as a cohort study (n=189). Data were collected by questionnaires, filled out by the service providers. The material was divided into, and analyzed with, two implementation phases. Non-parametrical statistical methods and hierarchical regression analyses were applied on the material. Results The number of patients increased significantly, and the patient group became more homogeneous. Both the duration of the service, and the number of consultations and group session days were significantly reduced. Conclusion The patient group became more homogenous, but also significantly larger during the first six years of building the RTW service. At the same time, the duration of the service decreased. This study therefore questions if there is a lack of consensus on the intensity of work rehabilitation for this group.


Acquired brain injury Stroke Traumatic brain injury Return to work Sick leave Occupational rehabilitation Implementation science 



We would like to thank the patients and the ABI RTW team at Sykehuset Innlandet, Hamar, Norway. Our special thanks go to the managers for the ABI RTW service; Eija Sareneva, Iver Fallet, and Inga Rønningen.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors L Haveraaen, EPM Brouwers, U Sveen, LS Skarpaas, H Sagvaag, and RW Aas declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Haveraaen
    • 1
  • E. P. M. Brouwers
    • 2
  • U. Sveen
    • 3
    • 4
  • L. S. Skarpaas
    • 1
    • 3
  • H. Sagvaag
    • 5
  • R. W. Aas
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Presenter, Stavanger, NorwayStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral SciencesTilburg University, TranzoTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Health SciencesOslo and Akershus University CollegeOsloNorway
  4. 4.Dept. Physical Medicine and RehabilitationOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  5. 5.Faculty of Social ScienceUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway

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