Cognitively oriented behavioral rehabilitation in combination with Qigong for patients on long-term sick leave because of burnout: REST--a randomized clinical trial

Int J Behav Med. 2009;16(3):294-303. doi: 10.1007/s12529-008-9011-7. Epub 2009 Jan 16.


Background: Despite an increase in the occurrence of burnout, there is no agreement on what kind of rehabilitation these patients should be offered.

Purpose: Primary aim of this study was to evaluate effects on psychological variables and sick leave rates by two different group rehabilitation programs for patients on long-term sick leave because of burnout. Rehabilitation program A (Cognitively oriented Behavioral Rehabilitation (CBR) and Qigong) was compared with rehabilitation program B (Qigong only).

Method: In a randomized clinical trial, 96 women and 40 men with a mean age of 41.6 +/- 7.4 years were allocated to one of the two rehabilitation programs.

Results: A per-protocol analysis showed no significant difference in treatment efficacy between the groups. Both groups improved significantly over time with reduced levels of burnout, self-rated stress behavior, fatigue, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and sick leave rates. In an intention-to-treat analysis, patients in program A had fewer obsessive-compulsive symptoms and larger effect sizes in self-rated stress behavior and obsessive-compulsive symptoms compared to patients in program B.

Conclusion: This study showed no differences in effect between CBR and Qigong compared with Qigong only in a per-protocol analysis. Both rehabilitation programs showed positive effect for patients with burnout.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Burnout, Professional / rehabilitation*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational
  • Sick Leave*