Rehabilitation of sick-listed LBP patients in occupational health with collaboration of the workplace
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University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Occupational Health)
Suomen Terveystalo Oy, Tampere, Finland (Occupational Health Department)
Bio-Medico Campus University Hospital, Rome, Italy (Research Unit of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery)
Campus Bio Medico University of Rome, Rome, Italy (Research Unit of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Department of Medicine and Surgery)
General for European and International Relations, Ministry of Health, Rome, Italy (General for Communication and International Affairs)
Online publication date: 2024-01-25
Corresponding author
Valtteri Kokkonen   

University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Occupational Health, Tukholmankatu 8b, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(1):3-17
The aim was to evaluate if rehabilitation procedures including occupational health (OH) and workplace participation increase return to work (RTW) rates among patients with subacute and chronic low back pain (LBP). A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was conducted using the PubMed and Cochrane databases. Main outcomes were RTW and days of sick leave. Interventions needed to be multidisciplinary including both OH and active workplace involvement in rehabilitation. Out of 1073 potentially eligible references, 8 met the inclusion criteria. Three studies had OH and 5 case managers involved in rehabilitation. Rehabilitation involving both OH and workplace improved RTW and decreased the number of sick leave days among LBP patients. Having case managers involved had no effect in RTW. In order to improve RTW, workplace visits and work ability meetings (WAMs) between OH and workplace are essential components in the rehabilitation process among patients with chronic LBP. Based on the study results, the authors suggest utilizing these co-operative interventions with workplaces in OH. High quality research investigating only the effect of WAMs in OH setting is needed in future. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(1):3–17
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