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Factors Predicting Work Ability Following Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

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Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the outcome and outcome predictors of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in terms of working ability. Methods: One hundred and forty three (n=143) patients with musculoskeletal pain (mean age=45.7, SD=8.9) were included. Work status, pain, functional health status and psychosocial factors were collected previous to treatment, after a 5 week intensive training and a 52 week follow-up period.Demographics and data on personal characteristics were also collected. Results: Workability increased from 57.4 to 80% during treatment period. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression indicated that age, sleeplessness, cognitive function, overall health, pain experience, and anxiety were the strongest predictors of work ability. Pain severity and depression were not found to be significant predictors of work ability. Conclusions: These data suggest that emotional distress, cognitive function and overall health are important priority areas in rehabilitation programmes to improve work ability.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors acknowledge the participant in the present study, Friskgården: Since 1995, Friskgården, located in Nord-Trøndelag County has developed a multidisciplinary rehabilitation model for individuals on sick leave with complex disease conditions. The rehabilitation is based on a theoretical model, assuming biological, psychological and social factors to be interwoven in the context of chronic disease. In cooperation with the National Health Insurance Office, Employment office, employer and other Public Health Services an individual tailored education- and coping process is emphasized and The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (The HUNT Study) which is a collaboration between HUNT Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Verdal), Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Nord-Trøndelag County Council.

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Correspondence to Monica Lillefjell.

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Lillefjell, M., Krokstad, S. & Espnes, G.A. Factors Predicting Work Ability Following Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. J Occup Rehabil 16, 543–555 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10926-005-9011-2

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