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Exploring Sick Leave in Integrative Care-Retrospective Observations and Future Study Recommendations.

Journal article
Authors Tobias Sundberg
Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb
Annelie Inghilesi Larsson
David Sibbritt
Torkel Falkenberg
Published in Journal of alternative and complementary medicine
Volume 25
Issue 4
Pages 377-384
ISSN 1557-7708
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Pages 377-384
Language en
Subject categories Occupational Therapy, Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


To describe and contrast the prevalence and trends of sick leave in patients with pain or stress disorders referred to inpatient care that integrates conventional and complementary therapies, that is, integrative care (IC).County council and social insurance data were used to retrospectively observe cross-sectional sick leave prevalence at four time points: 1 year before the first registered inpatient visit with the target diagnosis, after referral at index, and at 1 and 2 years after index. To contrast the IC findings, observations of patients with similar background characteristics referred to conventional care (CC) were used.The sick leave prevalence of IC pain patients and IC stress patients increased from the preceding year to peak at index, where after it decreased back toward preindex levels over 2 years. Overall sick leave prevalence was higher in IC than in CC, where analogous but lower prevalence trends of sick leave changes were observed.Observed sick leave prevalences, which were higher in IC than in CC, gradually decreased over time following IC or CC referral. While natural recovery or other reasons for change of sick leave cannot be excluded, future prospective and randomized clinical trials are recommended.

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