The assessment of efforts to return to work in the European Union
TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
de Boer, W.E.L.
Background: Assessment of efforts to promote return-to-work (RTW) includes all efforts (vocational and non-vocational) designed to improve the work ability of the sick-listed employee and increase the chance to return to work. Aim of the study was to investigate whether in 13 European countries these RTW efforts are assessed and to compare the procedures by means of six criteria. Methods: Data were gathered in the taxonomy project of the European Union of Medicine in Assurance and Social Security and by means of an additional questionnaire. Results: In seven countries RTW efforts are subject of the assessment in relation to the application for disability benefits. Description of RTW efforts is a prerequisite in five countries. Guidelines on the assessment of RTW efforts are only available in the Netherlands and no countries report the use of the ICF model. Based on the results of the additional questionnaire, the assessor is a social scientist or a physician. The information used to assess RTW efforts differs, from a report on the RTW process to medical information. A negative outcome of the assessment leads to delay of the application for disability benefits or to application for rehabilitation subsidy. Conclusion: RTW efforts are assessed in half of the participating European countries. When compared, the characteristics of the assessment of RTW efforts in the participating European countries show both similarities and differences. This study may facilitate the gathering and exchange of knowledge and experience between countries on the assessment of RTW efforts. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
To reference this document use:
European Journal of Public Health, 20 (20), 689-694