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Female Human Service Organisation workers with neck pain and a history of Long-term Sick Leave; approaches used in the rehabilitation process for return to work

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Linda Åhlström
Lotta Dellve
Mats Hagberg
Karin Ahlberg
Publicerad i Work Disability Prevention and Integration. 25-28 September, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Volym 2016
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Institutionen för vårdvetenskap och hälsa
Språk en
Länkar www.wdpi2016.org/images/WDPI_Scienc...
Ämneskategorier Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


Objectives Studies have reported difficulties in the process of rehabilitation and return to work (RTW) from long-term sick leave, both in general and regarding sick leave because of neck pain in particular. Neck pain is difficult to assess, problematic to rehabilitate, and hard to cure; and it is not always easy to decide whether the pain is work-related. The outcome of RTW could be dependent upon individuals’ approaches, defensive or offensive behaviors, and choices related to their self-efficacy. The aim of this study was to identify approaches used in the RTW process among women with neck pain on long-term sick leave from human service organizations. Methods A qualitative study based on grounded theory. A Swedish cohort of 207 women with a history of long-term sick leave with neck pain from human service organizations answered open-ended written questions at 0, 6, and 12 months, and 6 years; and 16 women were interviewed. Results The women with neck pain expressed their coping approaches to RTW in terms of fluctuating in work status over time, either as a strategy or as a consequence. Periods of sick leave were interwoven with periods of work, with different working degrees. Participants were either controlling the interaction or struggling in the interaction with stakeholders. Conclusions The knowledge gained in this study could improve the outcomes for RTW for the women with neck pain and with a history of long-term sick leave. If the society and especially the workplace can take the fluctuating work status into account this could enhance the RTW process for these individuals.

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