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Protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled study of a multicomponent intervention to promote a sustainable return to work of workers on long-term sick leave — PROWORK: PROmoting a Sustainable and Healthy Return to WORK

Varela-Mato, Veronica; Godfree, Kate; Adem, Anwar; Blake, Holly; Bartle, Craig; Daly, Guy; Hassard, Juliet; Kneller, Richard; Meyer, Caroline; Russell, Sean; Marwaha, Steven; Kershaw, Charlotte; Newman, Kristina; Yarker, Joanna; Thomson, Louise; Munir, Fehmidah

Protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled study of a multicomponent intervention to promote a sustainable return to work of workers on long-term sick leave — PROWORK: PROmoting a Sustainable and Healthy Return to WORK Thumbnail


Authors

Veronica Varela-Mato

Kate Godfree

Anwar Adem

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HOLLY BLAKE holly.blake@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Behavioural Medicine

Craig Bartle

Guy Daly

Caroline Meyer

Sean Russell

Steven Marwaha

Charlotte Kershaw

Kristina Newman

Joanna Yarker

Fehmidah Munir



Abstract

Background: The cost of sickness absence has major social, psychological and financial implications for individuals and organisations. Return-to-work (RTW) interventions that support good quality communication and contact with the workplace can reduce the length of sickness absence by between 15 and 30 days. However, initiatives promoting a sustainable return to work for workers with poor mental health on long-term sickness absence across small, medium and large enterprises (SMEs and LEs) are limited. This paper describes the protocol of a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test the feasibility of implementing a RTW intervention across SMEs and LEs across all sectors. Methods and design: A two-arm feasibility RCT with a 4-month intervention will be conducted in SMEs and LE enterprises from the Midlands region, UK. At least 8 organisations (4 controls and interventions), and at least 60 workers and/or managers, will be recruited and randomised into the intervention and control group (30 interventions, 30 controls). Workers on long-term sickness absence (LTSA) (between 8 and 50 days) and managers with a worker on LTSA will be eligible to participate. The intervention is a behavioural change programme, including a managers and workers RTW toolkit, focused on supporting sickness absence and RTW through the provision of knowledge, problem-solving, action planning, goal setting and positive communication that leads to a sustainable RTW. Organisations assigned to the control group will continue with their usual practice. Measurements of mental health, RTW, work outcomes, quality-of-life, workplace support and communication and other demographic data will be taken at baseline, 2 months and 4 months. Feasibility will be assessed based on recruitment, retention, attrition, completion of measures and intervention compliance for which specific process and research outcomes have been established. A process evaluation will explore the experiences and acceptability of the intervention components and evaluation measures. Exploratory economic evaluation will be conducted to further inform a definitive trial. Discussion: This is a novel intervention using a worker-manager approach to promote a sustainable return to work of workers on long-term sick leave due to poor mental wellbeing. If this intervention is shown to be feasible, the outcomes will inform a larger scale randomised control trial. Trial registration: ISRCTN90032009 (retrospectively registered, date registered 15th December 2020)

Citation

Varela-Mato, V., Godfree, K., Adem, A., Blake, H., Bartle, C., Daly, G., …Munir, F. (2022). Protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled study of a multicomponent intervention to promote a sustainable return to work of workers on long-term sick leave — PROWORK: PROmoting a Sustainable and Healthy Return to WORK. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 8(1), Article 188. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-022-01143-8

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2022
Publication Date Aug 19, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2022
Journal Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Electronic ISSN 2055-5784
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Article Number 188
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-022-01143-8
Keywords Study Protocol, Return to work, Long-term sickness absence, Mental health, Small and medium enterprises, Large enterprises, Positive communication, Worker, Manager, Intervention
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/10358076
Publisher URL https://pilotfeasibilitystudies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40814-022-01143-8
Additional Information Received: 28 February 2022; Accepted: 1 August 2022; First Online: 19 August 2022; : ; : The project has been granted ethical approval by the Loughborough University Ethical Advisory Committee (reference 2020-1889-2041). Workers and managers have provided written informed consent to participate in this study.; : Not applicable.; : The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled study of a multicomponent intervention to promote a sustainable return to work of workers on long-term sick leave — PROWORK: PROmoting a Sustainable and Healthy Return to WORK (2.1 Mb)
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Publisher Licence URL
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/




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