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Effectiveness of a Preventive Coaching Intervention for Employees at Risk for Sickness Absence Due to Psychosocial Health Complaints: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Duijts, Saskia F. A. PhD; Kant, IJmert PhD; van den Brandt, Piet A. PhD; Swaen, Gerard M. H. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 7 - pp 765-776
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181651584
Original Articles

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a preventive coaching intervention on sickness absence due to psychosocial health complaints and on general well being of employees.

Methods: Employees at risk for sickness absence were identified and randomized. The intervention group received the preventive coaching program; the control group received usual care. Primary outcome measure of the trial is sickness absence due to psychosocial health complaints; secondary outcome measures are related to general well being, such as psychological distress, fatigue, and coping.

Results: No effect of coaching on self-reported sickness absence due to psychosocial health complaints was found. The intervention group reported statistically significant improved health, declined psychological distress, less burnout, less need for recovery, and an increased satisfaction with life.

Conclusions: This study shows that the coaching intervention primarily has an effect on general well being of employees.

From the Department of Epidemiology (Drs Duijts, Kant, van den Brandt, Swaen), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Saskia F. A. Duijts is currently at NKI-AvL, Amsterdam, and Gerard M. H. Swaen is currently at Dow Chemical Terneuzen, Terneuzen, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Saskia F. A. Duijts, PhD, NKI-AvL, Department of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands; E-mail: s.duijts@nki.nl.

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine