Evaluating a multimodal, clinical and work-directed intervention (RTW-PIA) to support sustainable return to work among employees with mental disorders: study protocol of a multicentre, randomised controlled trial

Starke F, Sikora A, Stegmann R, Knebel L, Buntrock C, de Rijk A, Houkes I, Szycik GR, Unger HP, Schumacher JO, Stark H, Hauth I, Holzapfel C, Borgolte A, Schneller C, Unterschemmann SL, Paetow W, Jung AL, Berking M, Zimmermann J, Wegewitz U (2023)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023

Journal

Book Volume: 23

Article Number: 380

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1186/s12888-023-04753-5

Abstract

Background: Mental disorders (MDs) are one of the leading causes for workforce sickness absence and disability worldwide. The burden, costs and challenges are enormous for the individuals concerned, employers and society at large. Although most MDs are characterised by a high risk of relapse after treatment or by chronic courses, interventions that link medical-psychotherapeutic approaches with work-directed components to facilitate a sustainable return to work (RTW) are rare. This protocol describes the design of a study to evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness and implementation process of a multimodal, clinical and work-directed intervention, called RTW-PIA, aimed at employees with MDs to achieve sustainable RTW in Germany. Methods: The study consists of an effectiveness, a health-economic and a process evaluation, designed as a two-armed, multicentre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in German psychiatric outpatient clinics. Sick-listed employees with MDs will receive either the 18-month RTW-PIA treatment in conjunction with care as usual, or care as usual only. RTW-PIA consists of a face-to-face individual RTW support, RTW aftercare group meetings, and web-based aftercare. Assessments will be conducted at baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after completion of baseline survey. The primary outcome is the employees´ achievement of sustainable RTW, defined as reporting less than six weeks of working days missed out due to sickness absence within 12 months after first RTW. Secondary outcomes include health-related quality of life, mental functioning, RTW self-efficacy, overall job satisfaction, severity of mental illness and work ability. The health-economic evaluation will be conducted from a societal and public health care perspective, as well as from the employer’s perspective in a cost–benefit analysis. The design will be supplemented by a qualitative effect evaluation using pre- and post-interviews, and a multimethod process evaluation examining various predefined key process indicators from different stakeholder perspectives. Discussion: By applying a comprehensive, multimethodological evaluation design, this study captures various facets of RTW-PIA. In case of promising results for sustainable RTW, RTW-PIA may be integrated into standard care within German psychiatric outpatient clinics. Trial registration: The study was prospectively registered with the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00026232 , 1 September 2021).

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APA:

Starke, F., Sikora, A., Stegmann, R., Knebel, L., Buntrock, C., de Rijk, A.,... Wegewitz, U. (2023). Evaluating a multimodal, clinical and work-directed intervention (RTW-PIA) to support sustainable return to work among employees with mental disorders: study protocol of a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 23(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-04753-5

MLA:

Starke, Fiona, et al. "Evaluating a multimodal, clinical and work-directed intervention (RTW-PIA) to support sustainable return to work among employees with mental disorders: study protocol of a multicentre, randomised controlled trial." BMC Psychiatry 23.1 (2023).

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