Background: In a previous RCT we established the efficacy of the psychodynamic online aftercare programme 'GSA-Online' ('Health Training Stress Management at the Workplace') for rehabilitants with work-related stress facing return to work after long-term sickness absence. The purpose of this trial is to implement it into routine care.
Methods/design: The study is performed in rehabilitation clinics with patients of different medical indications (psychosomatic, orthopedic and cardiological diseases). Rehabilitants get access to the study platform during inpatient medical rehabilitation. 'GSA-Online plus' integrates exploratory and motivational videos on the web application to familiarize potential participants and motivate them to follow through with it. In the 12-week writing intervention, patients write weekly online diary entries, answered by anonymous online therapists within 24 h. Primary outcome measures are the recommendation rate of 'GSA-Online plus' and participation rates of the rehabilitants. As secondary outcomes, psychological symptoms, overall satisfaction, helpfulness of the therapeutic feedback and utilization of 'GSA-Online plus' will be analysed exploratory along with the course of weekly ratings of well-being and work ability.
Discussion: Meanwhile many clinical trials and meta-analysis prove that internet-based interventions are effective. This study will add insights on the dissemination and implementation of efficacious, evidence-based online treatments into medical practice. We expect a successful implementation of 'GSA-Online plus' in the clinical routine of the rehabilitation clinics. The focus of evaluation is on acceptance of the programme, both by the physicians in charge and the patients. In the future 'GSA-Online plus' could be implemented as a routine aftercare programme for rehabilitation inpatients with occupational stress.
Trial registration: The trial was retrospectively registered on 6th January 2017 at ClinicalTrials.gov (Trial Registration number: ClinicalTrials Gov ID NCT03019718 ).
Keywords: Implementation study; Internet-based intervention; Psychological online support; Rehabilitation aftercare; Return to work; Work stress.