Denmark — The Danish National Return-to-Work Programme
18/12/2015 Type: Case studies 6 pages

Denmark — The Danish National Return-to-Work Programme

Keywords:Ageing and OSH, Campaign 2016-2017

The programme established an early, multidisciplinary and coordinated intervention process to promote return to work within the existing sickness benefit system. It consisted of three core elements:  multidisciplinary teams established in the municipalities; standardised work ability assessments and sickness absence management procedures; a comprehensive return-to-work training course for team members. The multidisciplinary teams consisted of a municipal sickness benefit officer, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, a physician specialised in general, social or occupational health and a psychiatrist. The sickness absence officer had the role of coordinator. Weekly multidisciplinary meetings were used to develop individual return-to-work plans, with follow-ups to track their progress. Preliminary results varied between municipalities; however, in the two municipalities that showed positive results, a cost–benefit analysis showed that the programme was economically beneficial. Satisfied participants highlighted the importance of being involved in decisions and the establishment of trust with the multidisciplinary team. Challenges included confusion about team members’ roles and limited help for mental health issues. Caution should be exercised if adopting a programme of this nature, as it would require significant adaptation to local sickness benefit systems. 

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