Psychological approach of occupational health service to sick leave due to mental problems: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract

Purpose

The effects of interventions by occupational health services on sick leave prompted by psychiatric disorders were examined with respect to intervention method and the number of sick leave days.

Methods

The intervention methods used by occupational health services were systematically reviewed by searching three databases and manual searching. A meta-analysis of the number of sick leave days comparing the intervention group [intervention + care as usual (CAU)] and control group (CAU alone) was performed. In addition, subanalyses were conducted for the duration until sick-listed workers’ return to work after sick leave (Subgroup 1) and the number of non-sick-listed workers’ total sick leave days (Subgroup 2).

Results

Ten studies were extracted and integrated, and the subjects were subsequently sorted into the intervention group (n = 434, 322, and 756 in subgroup 1, subgroup 2, and total, respectively) and control group (n = 413, 385, and 798 in subgroup 1, subgroup 2, and total, respectively). All studies employed an intervention method of problem-solving treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups in subgroup 1 or 2. However, the combined intervention group had significantly fewer total sick leave days than the combined control group (mean difference −6.64 days, 95 % CI −12.68 to −0.59, I 2 = 0 %).

Conclusions

The combined study of sick-listed and non-sick-listed workers indicates occupational health services implement problem-solving treatment or CBT interventions, which can shorten total sick leave duration.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Anema JR, Jettinghoff K, Houtman I, Schoemaker CG, Buijs PC, van den Berg R (2006) Medical care of employees long-term sick listed due to mental health problems: a cohort study to describe and compare the care of the occupational physician and the general practitioner. J Occup Rehabil 16:41–52

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Arends I, Bültmann U, Nielsen K, van Rhenen W, de Boer MR, van der Klink JJ (2014) Process evaluation of a problem solving intervention to prevent recurrent sickness absence in workers with common mental disorders. Soc Sci Med 100:123–132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Arnetz BB, Sjögren B, Rydéhn B, Meisel R (2003) Early workplace intervention for employees with musculoskeletal-related absenteeism: a prospective controlled intervention study. J Occup Environ Med 45:499–506

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Berking M, Ebert D, Cuijpers P, Hofmann SG (2013) Emotion regulation skills training enhances the efficacy of inpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Psychother Psychosom 82:234–245

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bonde JP (2008) Psychosocial factors at work and risk of depression: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Occup Environ Med 65:438–445

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brouwer S, Muijzer A, Geertzen J, Groothoff J (2011) When are return-to-work (RTW) efforts sufficient? A study about the RTW process among individuals in receipt of disability benefits. Occup Environ Med 68(Suppl 1):A29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brouwers EP, de Bruijne MC, Terluin B, Tiemens BG, Verhaak PF (2007) Cost-effectiveness of an activating intervention by social workers for patients with minor mental disorders on sick leave: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Public Health 17:214–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. de Vente W, Kamphuis JH, Emmelkamp PM, Blonk RW (2008) Individual and group cognitive-behavioral treatment for work-related stress complaints and sickness absence: a randomized controlled trial. J Occup Health Psychol 13:214–231

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Demyttenaere K, Bruffaerts R, Posada-Villa J, Gasquet I, Kovess V, Lepine JP et al (2004) Prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. JAMA 291:2581–2590

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. GRADE Working Group (2004) Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. BMJ 328:1490–1494

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Greenberg PE, Kessler RC, Birnbaum HG, Leong SA, Lowe SW, Berglund PA et al (2003) The economic burden of depression in the United States: How did it change between 1990 and 2000? J Clin Psychiatry 64:1465–1475

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Guyatt GH, Oxman AD, Kunz R, Vist GE, Falck-Ytter Y, Schünemann HJ (2008) What is “quality of evidence” and why is it important to clinicians? BMJ 336:995–998

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Haland AT, Vogel PA, Lie B, Launes G, Pripp AH, Himle JA (2010) Behavioural group therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder in Norway. An open community-based trial. Behav Res Ther 48:547–554

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kant I, Jansen NW, van Amelsvoort LG, van Leusden R, Berkouwer A (2008) Structured early consultation with the occupational physician reduces sickness absence among office workers at high risk for long-term sickness absence: a randomized controlled trial. J Occup Rehabil 18:79–86

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kivisto S, Verbeek JH, Hirvonen M, Varonen H (2008) Return-to-work policies in Finnish occupational health services. Occup Med (Lond) 58:88–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Lagerveld S, Blonk R, Brenninkmeijer V, Wijngaards-de Meij L, Schaufeli WB (2012) Work-focused treatment of common mental disorders and return to work: a comparative outcome study. J Occup Health Psychol 17:220–234

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Muto T, Sumiyoshi Y, Sawada S, Momotani H, Itoh I, Fukuda H et al (1999) Sickness absence due to mental disorders in Japanese workforce. Ind Health 37:243–252

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Mynors-Wallis L (2005) Problem-solving treatment for anxiety and depression. Oxford University Press, UK

    Google Scholar 

  19. Namba K (2012) Return-to-work program with a relapse-free job retention rate of 91.6% for workers with mental illness. Sangyo Eiseigaku Zasshi 54:276–285 (in Japanese)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Netterstrøm B, Conrad N, Bech P, Fink P, Olsen O, Rugulies R et al (2008) The relation between work-related psychosocial factors and the development of depression. Epidemiol Rev 30:118–132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Nieuwenhuijsen K, Bruinvels D, Frings-Dresen M (2010) Psychosocial work environment and stress-related disorders, a systematic review. Occup Med (Lond) 60:277–286

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Proper KI, van der Beek AJ, Hildebrandt VH, Twisk JW, van Mechelen W (2004) Worksite health promotion using individual counselling and the effectiveness on sick leave; results of a randomised controlled trial. Occup Environ Med 61:275–279

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Rebergen DS, Bruinvels DJ, Bezemer PD, van der Beek AJ, van Mechelen W (2009) Guideline-based care of common mental disorders by occupational physicians (CO-OP study): a randomized controlled trial. J Occup Environ Med 51:305–312

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Sanati KA, Mansouri M, Macdonald D, Ghafghazi S, Macdonald E, Yadegarfar G (2011) Surgical techniques and return to work following carpal tunnel release: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Occup Rehabil 21:474–481

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Stansfeld S, Candy B (2006) Psychosocial work environment and mental health—a meta-analytic review. Scand J Work Environ Health 32:443–462

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Stansfeld SA, Fuhrer R, Head J (2011) Impact of common mental disorders on sickness absence in an occupational cohort study. Occup Environ Med 68:408–413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Stefan SG, Asnaani A, Vonk IJ, Sawyer AT, Fang A (2012) The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Cognit Ther Res 36:427–440

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Thase M, Sullivan L (1995) Relapse and recurrence of depression. CNS Drugs 4:261–277

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. van der Feltz-Cornelis CM, Hoedeman R, de Jong FJ, Meeuwissen JA, Drewes HW, van der Ader HJ (2010) Faster return to work after psychiatric consultation for sicklisted employees with common mental disorders compared to care as usual. A randomized clinical trial. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 6:375–385

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. van der Klink Jac JL, Blonk RW, Schene AH, van Dijk FJ (2001) The benefits of interventions for work-related stress. Am J Public Health 91:270–276

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. van Oostrom SH, Heymans MW, de Vet HC, van Tulder MW, van Mechelen W, Anema JR (2010) Economic evaluation of a workplace intervention for sick-listed employees with distress. Occup Environ Med 67:603–610

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Vlasveld MC, van der Feltz-Cornelis CM, Adèr HJ, Anema JR, Hoedeman R, van Mechelen W et al (2013) Collaborative care for sick-listed workers with major depressive disorder: a randomised controlled trial from the Netherlands depression initiative aimed at return to work and depressive symptoms. Occup Environ Med 70:223–230

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Wang J, Smailes E, Sareen J, Fick GH, Schmitz N, Patten SB (2010) The prevalence of mental disorders in the working population over the period of global economic crisis. Can J Psychiatry 55:598–605

    Google Scholar 

  34. WHO (2003) Investing in mental health. Geneva: World Health Organization 2003

  35. WHO (2008) The global burden of disease: 2004 update. Geneva: World Health Organization 2008

  36. Willert MV, Thulstrup AM, Bonde JP (2011) Effects of a stress management intervention on absenteeism and return to work—results from a randomized wait-list controlled trial. Scand J Work Environ Health 37:186–195

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Yasuhito Hirai, Naoaki Sho, and Shun Suzuki for their help.

Conflict of interest

Shotaro Doki, Shinichiro Sasahara, and Ichiyo Matsuzaki declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shinichiro Sasahara.

Appendix

Appendix

Search strategies for each database

The search targets were the papers published from January 1, 2004 to April 29, 2014.

PubMed

((mental[All Fields] AND (“disease”[MeSH Terms] OR “disease”[All Fields] OR “disorders”[All Fields])) OR (sick[All Fields] AND leave[All Fields]) OR (“absenteeism”[MeSH Terms] OR “absenteeism”[All Fields])) AND ((occupational[All Fields] AND (“health”[MeSH Terms] OR “health”[All Fields]) AND (“physicians”[MeSH Terms] OR “physicians”[All Fields])) OR (occupational[All Fields] AND (“health”[MeSH Terms] OR “health”[All Fields]) AND services[All Fields]) OR (“psychotherapy”[MeSH Terms] OR “psychotherapy”[All Fields])) AND ((“random allocation”[MeSH Terms] OR (“random”[All Fields] AND “allocation”[All Fields]) OR “random allocation”[All Fields] OR “randomized”[All Fields]) AND controlled[All Fields] AND (“clinical trials as topic”[MeSH Terms] OR (“clinical”[All Fields] AND “trials”[All Fields] AND “topic”[All Fields]) OR “clinical trials as topic”[All Fields] OR “trial”[All Fields])) AND (“2004/01/01”[PDAT] : “2014/04/29”[PDAT]).

PsycINFO

((mental AND disorders) OR (sick AND leave) OR (absenteeism) OR (behavioral AND symptoms)) AND ((occupational AND health AND physicians) OR (occupational AND health AND services) OR (psychotherapy)) AND ((randomized AND controlled AND trial)).

Business source complete

((mental AND disorders) OR (sick AND leave) OR (absenteeism) OR (behavioral AND symptoms)) AND ((occupational AND health AND physicians) OR (occupational AND health AND services) OR (psychotherapy)) AND ((randomized AND controlled AND trial)).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Doki, S., Sasahara, S. & Matsuzaki, I. Psychological approach of occupational health service to sick leave due to mental problems: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 88, 659–667 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-014-0996-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Mental illness
  • Meta-analysis
  • Occupational health services
  • Return to work
  • Sick leave