Exploring treatment adherence in long-term sick-listed workers and the impact of coping strategies, illness perceptions and perceived health

Tialda Hoekstra*, Loes Wilming, Christiaan Sjobbema, Sandra Brouwer

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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BACKGROUND: Treatment adherence is important to improve return to work in sick-listed workers. Especially in long-term sick-listed workers who apply for a disability benefit and therefore have not (fully) returned to work, it is of great value to gain insight in the adherence to advice of physicians. Non-adherence could be one of the main reasons why they have not returned to work and are sick-listed for a long-term. The aim of the study is to explore treatment adherence and possible associated factors to advice from medical and occupational health physicians in long-term sick-listed workers.

METHODS: The study is a cross-sectional survey study among 561 long-term (partly) sick-listed workers applying for a disability benefit. Associations of sociodemographic characteristics, disease related factors, coping strategies (Utrecht Coping List, UCL), illness perception (Illness Cognition Questionnaire, ICQ) and perceived health (Short-Form 12, SF12) with treatment adherence (measured with the Medical Outcomes Study Measures of Patient Adherence, MOS-MPA) were analysed separately for adherence to medical advice (n = 348, mean age 51.3 ± 9.1 years, 55.9% female) and adherence to occupational advice (n = 229, mean age 50.4 ± 9.5 years, 54.1% female).

RESULTS: Among participants, 63.3% to 76.4% reported they were able to do what the physician told them to do. However, about half of the participants found it easy to follow-up and implement the suggestions of the physician (54.3% for medical advice and 50.2% for occupational advice). Having a mental health disorder was negatively associated with adherence to medical advice. An active coping strategy, acceptance of the disease, and perceiving positive long-term consequences of the disease were associated with a higher adherence, whereas focusing on the negative consequences was associated with a lower adherence, both for medical and occupational advice.

CONCLUSIONS: The tendency to adhere to medical and occupational advice in long-term sick-listed workers is relatively low. In order to increase return to work in this population, medical and occupational health physicians should especially be aware of the adherence of sick-listed workers with mental health disorders, but also on those who focus on the negative consequences of their (physical or mental health) disorder.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)259
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftBMC Public Health
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - dec.-2022

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