PURPOSE: Our process evaluation (trial registration: DRKS00022468) monitored the implementation of a multi-component strategy including case management aiming to improve rehabilitation coverage and work participation of people with a high risk of permanent work disability.
METHODS: A risk score using administrative data, particularly on employment and welfare benefits, was employed to identify individuals with higher probability of receiving disability pension and therefore potentially needing support. These individuals were contacted by post and encouraged to phone their regional case manager if they needed assistance. Content for the intervention components was developed collaboratively with the case managers. We examined the sample reached, dose delivered, fidelity, dose received and satisfaction with the intervention.
RESULTS: Out of 1074 individuals with high-risk scores were contacted, there were 57 case managements. The participants reached were in poor health, and 42.1% reported at least four diagnosed conditions, mostly musculoskeletal and mental disorders. About two-thirds (63.0%) reported poor work ability at baseline. On average, 72.5% of the content of the initial telephone contacts, 88.7% of the content of the face-to-face interviews and 45.2% of the content of the case management were delivered. The participants were highly satisfied with the various components and content of the intervention. Knowledge about rehabilitation improved significantly, with 43 of the 57 participants (75.4%) applying for rehabilitation, mainly medical rehabilitation. At the end of the case management intervention, most participants (91.7%) were still employed.
CONCLUSION: The risk score offers an opportunity to screen for people with a high risk of permanent work disability. Case management participants found participation worthwhile and were significantly better informed about participation services after completing case management. More than every second participant received medical or vocational rehabilitation.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)