790 Predicting long-term sickness absence and supporting return-to work processes using questionnaires

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Abstract

Introduction

Promoting good health and attendance, instead of penalising absence, has become a growing policy issue, since long-term sickness absence is increasing in 27 European member states and Norway. As most employees will return to work spontaneously, resources for return to work projects should be dedicated to the high-risk group for long-term sickness absence.

Methods

In this project, a questionnaire was developed to predict the risk of long-term sickness absence.

Methods

By combining a literature review of the predictive factors for long-term sickness absence, with a review of existing questionnaires that question long-term sickness absence, a new questionnaire was developed. A study has been set up including 10 000 participants, to assess the predictive value of the questionnaire and the model to predict the risk of long-term sickness absence.

Results

The literature study revealed 16 predictors for long-term sickness absence. The most predictive factor is the patient’s expectancy regarding their return to work. As the other predictive value of the other factors was ambiguously, the pilot study will explore the value of the complete model and each separate parameter. The developed questionnaire is not specific for a certain illness, nor for use in a specific country.

Discussion

The questionnaire developed in this research aims to support physicians to assess the risk of long-term sickness absence, wherefore an earlier start of return-to work support becomes possible. We aim to guide more employees successfully and sustainably back to work.

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