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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 596572, 7 pages
Research Article

Prognostic Factors of Returning to Work after Sick Leave due to Work-Related Common Mental Disorders: A One- and Three-Year Follow-Up Study

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark

Received 15 January 2015; Revised 14 March 2015; Accepted 20 March 2015

Academic Editor: Stavroula Leka

Copyright © 2015 Bo Netterstrøm et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this paper was to assess the prognostic factors of return to work (RTW) after one and three years among people on sick leave due to occupational stress. Methods. The study population comprised 223 completers on sick leave, who participated in a stress treatment program. Self-reported psychosocial work environment, life events during the past year, severity of the condition, occupational position, employment sector, marital status, and medication were assessed at baseline. RTW was assessed with data from a national compensation database (DREAM). Results. Self-reported high demands, low decision authority, low reward, low support from leaders and colleagues, bullying, high global symptom index, length of sick leave at baseline, and stressful negative life events during the year before baseline were associated with no RTW after one year. Low work ability and full-time sick leave at inclusion were predictors after three years too. Being single was associated with no RTW after three years. The type of treatment, occupational position, gender, age, and degree of depression were not associated with RTW after one or three years. Conclusion. The impact of the psychosocial work environment as predictor for RTW disappeared over time and only the severity of the condition was a predictor for RTW in the long run.