Effectiveness and characteristics of interventions to improve work participation in adults with chronic physical conditions: a systematic review

Joan A. C. Verhoef*, Marjolijn Bal, Pepijn D. D. M. Roelofs, Jeroen A. J. Borghouts, Marij E. Roebroeck, Harald S. Miedema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose Chronic physical conditions often negatively affect work participation. The objective of this systematic review is to investigate the effectiveness and characteristics of vocational rehabilitation interventions for people with a chronic physical condition. Methods Searches in five databases up to April 2020 identified 30 studies meeting our inclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently assessed and extracted data. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework was used to evaluate quality of evidence for three outcome measures related to work participation. Results All vocational rehabilitation interventions consisted of multiple components, but their characteristics varied widely. Analysis of 22 trials yielded a moderate positive effect with moderate certainty of interventions on work status; analysis of five trials with low risk of bias showed a large positive effect with moderate certainty (risk ratio 1.33 and 1.57, respectively). In addition, in eight studies we found a moderate to small positive effect with low certainty on work attitude (standardized mean difference = 0.59 or 0.38, respectively). We found no effect on work productivity in nine studies. Conclusion The systematic review of the literature showed positive effects of vocational rehabilitation interventions on work status and on work attitude; we found no effect on work productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1022
Number of pages16
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume44
Issue number7
Early online date20 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2022

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