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Workplace Interventions can Reduce Sickness Absence for Persons With Work-Related Neck and Upper Extremity Disorders: A One-Year Prospective Cohort Study

Journal article
Authors Stefan Oliv
Ewa Gustafsson
Adnan Noor
Mats Hagberg
Helena Sandén
Published in Journal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume 61
Issue 7
Pages 559-564
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Pages 559-564
Language en
Keywords Workplace Intervention, Work Ability, Sickness Absence Prevention, Work ability index, Work demands
Subject categories Occupational medicine, Epidemiology, Public health science


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate whether workplace interventions are effective in reducing sickness absence in persons with work-related neck and upper extremity disorders and whether disorder improvement after intervention reduces sickness absence. METHODS: This study was a prospective cohort study of workers with work-related neck pain or upper extremity disorders. Data were obtained from the Swedish "Work-related disorders" and "Work environment" surveys. Register data on sickness-absence 1 year after the surveys were made and obtained from the Swedish health insurance database. RESULTS: A significant lower number of sickness-absence days were found for workers reporting improvement after intervention. CONCLUSION: The findings in this study suggest that workplace intervention can reduce sickness absence for workers with neck or upper extremity disorders only if the intervention improves the disorder. The interventions were most effective in reducing medium long sickness absence periods.

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