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Back to work: evaluation of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program with emphasis on mental symptoms; A two-year follow up

Authors Sjöström R, Asplund, Alricsson

Received 29 March 2012

Accepted for publication 10 May 2012

Published 25 June 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 145—151


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Rita Sjöström,1,2 Ragnar Asplund,3 Marie Alricsson2,4
Strömsund Health Centre, Jämtland County Council, Strömsund, 2Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, 3The Research and Development Unit, Jämtland County Council, Östersund, 4School of Human Sciences, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden

Background: The aim of this investigation was to analyze temporal changes in anxiety, depression, and stress in patients with musculoskeletal pain for a period of up to 2 years after a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program, in relation to sick-listing (registered with The Swedish Social Insurance Agency [Forsakringskassan] for sickness benefit).
Methods: Ten persons with full-time sick leave (absence from work for medical reasons) (group 1) and 49 with part-time or no sick leave (group 2) at the end of the 2-year study period participated. It was shown in a previous study that group 1 had higher pain rating and higher subjective physical disability than group 2, with little or no improvement during and after rehabilitation. In the present study, all participants were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and a self-rated stress test.
Results: Participants with full-time sick leave during the study period (group 1) showed improved stress levels but no change in anxiety and depression levels. Anxiety, depression, and stress changed more favorably in participants with part-time or no sick leave than in those with full-time sick leave.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that investigation and appropriate treatment of psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, are important in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, musculoskeletal, rehabilitation, sick leave, stress

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