The aim of this study was to study the effects of a short-term cognitive behavior therapy on work-anxiety and sickness-absence in patients with work-anxiety.
Three-hundred forty-five inpatients who suffered from cardiologic, neurological, or orthopedic problems and additionally work-anxiety were randomly assigned into two different group interventions. Patients got four sessions of a group intervention, which either focused on cognitive behavior–therapy anxiety–management (work-anxiety coping group, WAG) or unspecific recreational activities (RG).
No differences were found between WAG and RG for work-anxiety and subjective work ability. When looking at patients who were suffering only from work-anxiety, and no additional mental disorder, the duration of sickness absence until 6 months follow-up was shorter in the WAG (WAG: 11 weeks, RG: 16 weeks, P = 0.050).
A short-term WAG may help return to work in patients with work-anxieties, as long as there is no comorbid mental disorder.