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February/March 2013 (vol. 09/5)

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Research Plus

Interventions to reduce absence

According to this systematic review, current evidence does not support the use of active workplace interventions as tools simply to reduce sickness absence, though they may have other benefits. The review (17 studies met inclusion criteria) focused specifically on sickness absence rather than health outcomes generally, and was restricted to interventions aimed at changing worker behaviour or beliefs. Interventions that reduced absence were: graded activity (moderate evidence); cognitive behavioural therapy (limited evidence); and the Sheerbrooke model, a multi-disciplinary comprehensive intervention including both workplace adjustment and a clinical component (limited evidence). There is moderate evidence that workplace physical exercise programmes do not reduce absence.

Occupational Medicine 2013; 63(1): 7–16.


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2013 (vol. 09/5) pp40