Day treatment of patients with severe work-related complaints
Ybe Meesters, Ernst H Horwitz, Carol JM van Velzen
University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, University Center for Psychiatry, Groningen, The Netherlands
Abstract: A day treatment program was developed for patients suffering with severe work-related complaints who were unable to function at work because of this. The program consisted of a number of treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, protocolized nonverbal therapies, and activation. The main objective of all these therapies was to analyze participants' personal qualities and vulnerabilities when functioning at work and to teach them new coping strategies and social skills to reduce their vulnerability in stressful situations. The results of the program were assessed in terms of scores on a number of self-rating questionnaires and hours spent at work. In a follow-up assessment one year after the original program had finished, we found a significant reduction in complaints and an increase in the number of hours spent on the job. At the start of the program, patients worked 25.2% of their contracted hours; a year later, this had increased to 77.3%. Even though this natural field study has its limitations, the results of the day treatment program seem very promising.
Keywords: work-related stress, burnout, day treatment
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