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Special Issue "Primary Healthcare and Work-Related Mental Ill Health"

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 May 2023 | Viewed by 1212

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kristina Holmgren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Rehabilitation, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Interests: work-related health; sustainable work; early identification; sick leave; rehabilitation; return to work; employer support; work stress questionnaire (WSQ); primary health care
Dr. Jenny Hultqvist
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Rehabilitation, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
Interests: mental health; mental disorders; psychosocial rehabilitation; return to work; primary health care; occupational therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The stresses and strains of working life affect people negatively and result in various mental health complaints, even prior to sick-listing. People with these complaints often consult primary healthcare long before they even contemplate sick leave. Since these patients are at risk of disability and long-term sick leave, it is of immense value to identify them early to determine the need for preventive steps. Both the individual and society can gain a lot from the prevention of absence, but surprisingly enough, there are few established methods in primary healthcare to identify, treat, and support people to go on working and avoid going on sick leave. Involving the workplace and the employer to promote return to work after sick-listing has been found to be essential; therefore, collaboration between primary healthcare and the workplace is urgently needed.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present research on new methods to identify, treat, and support patients with work-related mental ill health early to avoid long-term complaints and sick leave in a primary healthcare context. It also aims at presenting research on methods that involve the workplace to promote an early RTW. 

We welcome research in this area with a variety of study designs, using a quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods design:

  • Feasibility studies/pilot studies to examine the efficacy and implementation of new methods to identify, treat, and support patients with work-related mental ill health early to avoid long-term complaints and sick leave and promote return to work;
  • Randomized controlled trial/cohort studies to evaluate if interventions can:
    • Reduce/change mental complaints or symptoms;
    • Prevent or reduce/change sickness absence;
    • Promote return to work;
  • Evaluation studies to examine interventions from both the patients’ and healthcare professionals’ perspective, and from the perspectives of organizational level.

Prof. Dr. Kristina Holmgren
Dr. Jenny Hultqvist
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2500 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.

Keywords

  • work-related health
  • mental ill health
  • primary healthcare
  • early identification
  • prevention
  • sustainable work
  • sick leave
  • rehabilitation
  • return to work

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Coordination and Perceived Support for Return to Work: A Cross-Sectional Study among Patients in Swedish Healthcare
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074040 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 460
Abstract
Background: Receiving support from a return-to-work (RTW) coordinator (RTWC) may be beneficial for people on long-term sick leave. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the number of contacts with an RTWC and their involvement in designing rehabilitation plans for the [...] Read more.
Background: Receiving support from a return-to-work (RTW) coordinator (RTWC) may be beneficial for people on long-term sick leave. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the number of contacts with an RTWC and their involvement in designing rehabilitation plans for the patients were associated with perceiving support for RTW, emotional response to the RTWC, and healthcare utilization. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 274 patients who had recently been in contact with an RTWC in Swedish primary or psychiatric care answered questions regarding their interaction with an RTWC, perceived support for RTW, and emotional response to the RTWC. Results: Having more contact with an RTWC was associated with perceiving more support in the RTW process (adjusted OR 4.14, 95% CI 1.49–11.47). RTWC involvement in designing a rehabilitation plan for the patient was associated with perceiving more support in the RTW process from an RTWC and having a more positive emotional response to the RTWC. Conclusions: From the patient’s perspective, this study indicates that the involvement of an RTWC and receiving a rehabilitation plan that an RTWC has helped to design might be perceived as important in the RTW process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Primary Healthcare and Work-Related Mental Ill Health)
Article
Does the Number of Reasons for Seeking Care and Self-Rated Health Predict Sick Leave during the Following 12 Months? A Prospective, Longitudinal Study in Swedish Primary Health Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010354 - 30 Dec 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Background: Sick leave has major social and economic consequences for both individuals and society. Primary Health Care (PHC) meets people who seek care before they risk going on sick leave. This study examined the impact of self-perceived health on sick leave within 12 [...] Read more.
Background: Sick leave has major social and economic consequences for both individuals and society. Primary Health Care (PHC) meets people who seek care before they risk going on sick leave. This study examined the impact of self-perceived health on sick leave within 12 months for workers seeking care in PHC. Methods: The study had a prospective longitudinal design with 271 employed, non-sick-listed patients aged 18–64 years seeking care for physical and/or mental symptoms at PHC. In a logistic regression, an estimation of the odds ratio (OR) for belonging to the group workers with >14 days of sick-leave (W-SL) was made. Results: A high number of reasons when seeking care, with an OR of 1.33 (confidence interval 1.14 to 1.56), and lower self-rated health, with an OR of 1.45 (confidence interval 1.10 to 1.91), were determinants for sick leave at 12 months after adjusting for covariates and confounders. Mental symptoms constituted the main reason for seeking care, followed by musculoskeletal pain, and significant differences in proportions regarding most symptoms were shown between the groups with and without sick-leave >14 days. Conclusion: Health care professionals in PHC need to be aware of the risk of future sick leave at comorbidity and low self-perceived health. Preventive rehabilitation interventions should be offered to improve health and prevent sick leave for this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Primary Healthcare and Work-Related Mental Ill Health)
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