Long-term sick leave and disabilities due to common mental disorders are challenging for society, employers, and individuals. Hence, we wanted to investigate whether psychosocial work environments experienced by employees undergoing treatment for such disorders was associated with return to work.
At the start of treatment, 164 patients responded to questionnaires concerning their psychosocial work environment (the Job Demand–Control–Support model and the Effort–Reward Imbalance model), symptoms (The Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure) and ability to work (Work Ability Index). In addition, the respondents reported whether they were working or on sick leave at the start and end of their courses of treatment. Their therapists provided information about diagnoses.
Return to work was associated with control of decisions, support from colleagues, esteem, and job promotion opportunities as measured at the start of treatment. In multivariate analyses, control over decisions and job promotion opportunities continued to predict return to work when adjusted for symptoms, current work ability, and expected future work ability.
The working conditions that predicted return to work are considered to facilitate work performance and to be sources of motivation, job satisfaction, and job commitment. Consequently, it is important to examine whether this patient group has a favorable working environment and consider changes in the workplace if the environment is not favorable.
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