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Special Issue "Return to Work and Occupational Health Services"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Evangelos C. Alexopoulos

Metopolitan General Hospital, Occupational Health Dpt., 264 Mesogion Avenue, 155 62 Holargos, Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: occupational health; occupational medicine; exposure assessment; public health; environmental epidemiology; environmental health; employee well-being; preventive medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

When aging, an impairment, or an illness affect the ability of a person to maintain, enter, or return to work (RTW), a complex process is activated in the personal, family, employer, welfare and insurance system, and state levels in which the disincentives and barriers (unmet needs, ineffective policies and strategies, inadequate evidence) prevail. Commonly, the employer is reluctant to allocate resources to accommodate work, when in most cases it is not clear what has to be done. On the other hand, the employer has an ethical and legal duty to control work-related risks to prevent work-related illness and accident. Specifically, the efforts to control work-related stress would influence the sustainable RTW behavior of workers, entering and maintaining a job by disabled persons, and in general employee well-being and engagement.

Occupational health services (OHS) could facilitate and optimize employability by monitoring and evaluating the recovery process; determining the relevant to work residual abilities; managing expectations; advising work arrangements and adaptations; and informing and raising the awareness of co-workers and managers. However, OHS are underutilized and their potential impact remains largely understudied. In this issue, we wish to shed light on the factors that influence OHS effectiveness, considering individual-tailored strategies, disease-related disability, the job context (demands, flexibility, organizational and psychosocial characteristics), unionization, the welfare system, other economic and social incentives or disincentives, and the availability of OHS. The future and retrospective utilization of studies using the demand-control-support model, effort–reward imbalance, job demands–resources, and other models of occupational stress on RTW and employability are highly welcomed. Of specific interest are the processes and work modification options on “subjectively disabled” symptoms in a nonflexible job context (e.g., factors that influence the RTW of nurses with musculoskeletal disorders).

Dr. Evangelos C. Alexopoulos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access bimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • disability
  • employment
  • return to work
  • sick leave
  • work reintegration
  • work inclusion
  • disability insurance
  • social security
  • health capital
  • labor force participation
  • occupational physician
  • demand–control–support model
  • job demands–resources model

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Adherence to Treatment in Stroke Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020196
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Background: Compliance with medication in patients who have suffered stroke is usually not-optimal. This study aims to measure the level of compliance with the treatment and to identify socio-demographic, clinical, and subjective factors related to the long-term compliance of stroke patients with
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Background: Compliance with medication in patients who have suffered stroke is usually not-optimal. This study aims to measure the level of compliance with the treatment and to identify socio-demographic, clinical, and subjective factors related to the long-term compliance of stroke patients with their treatment. Methods: 140 patients (66.4% males) suffered an ischemic stroke at least six months old, participated in the survey. Compliance was measured using the Medication Adherence Report Scale and the quality of life by the Stroke Specific Quality of Life questionnaire. Furthermore, the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire on perceptions about the disease were assessed. The doctor–patient relationship was assessed by the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation questionnaire and the family support was assessed by the FSS scale. Univariate and multivariate analysis was employed to identify the significant factors affecting compliance in these stroke patients. Results: In 68.6% of patients the compliance was classified as optimal, in 25.7% as partial and as poor in 5.7%; the last two categories were treated as sub-optimal compliance in multivariate analysis. The high compliance was related to patient’s mental state (OR:3.94 95% CI: 1.84–4.46), the perception medication necessity (OR:1.26 95% CI: 1.01–1.56), and the doctor–patient communication (OR:1.76 95% CI: 1.15–2.70). Men showed a lower compliance than women, as well as increased concerns about taking medication (OR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.69–0.99). Paradoxically, the work /productivity related quality of life was inversely associated with compliance (OR (95% CI): 0.44 (0.23 to 0.82)). Conclusions: The perception of medication necessity and the doctor–patient communication are manageable factors associated with compliance in treating patients who have suffered stroke. In addition, rehabilitation and return to work programs should consider these factors when providing support to those persons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Return to Work and Occupational Health Services)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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