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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 5, 340 - 350


Treatment program for psychological work-related complaints: employees with or without a job in sick leave

Y. Meesters, E.H. Horwitz, C.J.M. van Velzen

background In the Netherlands, unemployed people in sick leave, can get sickness payment from the Employee Insurance Agency (uwv), so called ‘vangnetters’ (users of a safety net). They participated in a day-care program for people with psychological work-related complaints together with people in sick leave who were employed by an employer who were referred to a university psychiatric center (ucp).
aim Comparison of both groups on initial complaints and treatment outcome.
method A retrospective explorative study (during an 11-years period) comparing start and follow-up measurements by using questionnaires.
results The uwv group (n = 111) differed from the ucp group (n = 254) at the start of the program: longer sickness leave, more severe initial complaints and a few other coping strategies. One year after finishing the program, 61% of the uwv group and 83% of the ucp group were in paid employment. People who were not in paid employment after a year already had more initial complaints compared to people who were back at work. The length of sickness leave was not a limiting factor for reintegration in work.
conclusion Differences in initial symptoms and coping strategies did not really lead to differences in perspective of reintegration in work. Cooperation with the uwv for employed as well as unemployed people in sick leave led to good treatment results.

keywords reintegration in work, treatment program, unemployed sick leave, work-related psychological complaints