The available literature on RTW and sick leave has been focused mainly on the determinants selleck kinase inhibitor of the return to work of employees on short-term sick leave, while largely ignoring the importance of the determinants of long-term sick leave. Literature shows that there is no international
consensus about the definition of long-term sick leave and short-term sick leave. In the present study, we define long-term sick leave as sickness absence during at least 1.5 years. A systematic review showed that most studies on sick leave are based on sickness absence periods of 6 weeks or less, and there is much less literature about sick leave periods longer than 6 weeks (learn more Dekkers-Sánchez et al. 2008). The importance of early work resumption for employees on sick leave has been highlighted by several previous studies (e.g. Bernacki et al. 2000; Tveito et al. 2004). The literature suggests that the impact of factors related to sick leave and absence from work can vary through the different stages of illness (Krause et al. 2001; Burton et al. 2003). The initial onset of absence from work is almost always due to medical reasons. Sufficient evidence suggests that both medical and non-medical factors play a role in the maintenance of sick leave (Dekkers-Sánchez et al. 2008). This diversity of factors could explain why the resumption of work is increasingly difficult as the time absent from work increases
(WHO 4��8C 2003). Despite the importance of long-term sickness absence, previous research has shown that there is a lack of scientific knowledge on Talazoparib research buy the factors associated with long-term sick leave (Dekkers-Sánchez et al. 2008). Literature shows that the causes of long-term sick leave and complex may involve medical, psychosocial, financial, organisational and work-related factors (Alexanderson
2004). Therefore, a proper workability assessment should take into account all factors that seem responsible for the maintenance of the sickness absence. After 2 years of sick leave, these complex conditions require a multifactorial analysis, including the medical situation, work situation and personal situation of the claimant. This implies that the assessment of workability should include not only the medical factors, but also the non-medical factors responsible for a decreased ability to perform work. With better knowledge about the factors associated with sickness absence, IPs can make useful recommendations to achieve RTW, which is in concordance with the Dutch legislation, aiming at improving RTW outcomes. Despite the important role of physicians in the RTW process, little is known about the views of physicians on the factors that should be addressed in the evaluation of the work ability of employees on long-term sick leave. Therefore, enhancing the knowledge of physicians regarding these relevant factors is warranted.