Background: In the present study the effect of a workplace-oriented intervention for persons on long-term sick leave for clinical burnout, aimed at facilitating return to work (RTW) by job-person match through patient-supervisor communication, was evaluated. We hypothesised that the intervention group would show a more successful RTW than a control group.
Methods: In a prospective controlled study, subjects were identified by the regional social insurance office 2-6 months after the first day on sick leave. The intervention group (n = 74) was compared to a control group who had declined participation, being matched by length of sick leave (n = 74). The RTW was followed up, using sick-listing register data, until 1.5 years after the time of intervention.
Results: There was a linear increase of RTW in the intervention group during the 1.5-year follow-up period, and 89% of subjects had returned to work to some extent at the end of the follow-up period. The increase in RTW in the control group came to a halt after six months, and only 73% had returned to work to some extent at the end of the 1.5-year follow-up.
Conclusions: We conclude that the present study demonstrated an improvement of long-term RTW after a workplace-oriented intervention for patients on long-term sick leave due to burnout.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials NCT01039168.