VITALIS - Long-term follow-up of an intervention project for return to work and improved health among people on long-term sick leave

Time period: 2019-07-01 to 2021-06-30

Project leader: Ingrid Anderzén

Other personnel: Magnus Helgesson, Åsa Andersén, Erik Berglund

Funder: Forte

Type of award: Unclassified

Total fundning: 1 848 000 SEK

Background: Sickness absence can contribute to both ill-health and work incapacity, and a long period of sick-leave reduces the likelihood of a person to return to work (RTW). In Sweden, extensive resources are invested in RTW oriented rehabilitation programs in order to increase the chances of people with long-term sick leave to RTW. In working life-RTW rehabilitation and collaboration projects usually time to follow-up is one year after the project start. These short follow-ups create a gap in knowledge regarding the possible long-term effects generated in RTW interventions projects. The Vitalis project was rolled out during 2010-2012 and showed favorable effects on RTW at the one year follow-up evaluation. However, there is no longer follow-up of the participants in the Vitalis project.Aim: The aim of this study is to conduct a long-term follow-up of the participants in the Vitalis project to answer questions about RTW, employment, health and healthcare consumption two, three, four and five years after project completion. The aim is also to investigate whether transfers from the social insurance system to the Public Employment Service increase RTW and a decrease in sick-leave.Method: The Vitalis project was a randomized controlled trial that enrolled 427 people to one of three groups (two intervention groups and one control group). This current study will use the basic data material from the Vitalis project and link this data with registry information on employment and sick-leave two, three, four and five years after project -completion. A postal questioner will also be sent out to the participants.Conclusions to expect: The study is expected to provide knowledge about long-term effects of Vitalis projects for RTW and how the effects developed over time for different treatment groups. Also the analyses will provide knowledge whether it is effective to transfer people on long-term sick-leave within the welfare system and if this transfer will increase RTW.