Work-related support in clinical care for patients with a chronic disease: development of an intervention

Maarten Butink*, Desiree Dona, Annelies Boonen, Marlies Peters, Vera Baadjou, Theo Senden, Angelique de Rijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Patients with a chronic disease are more vulnerable in the labor market, and work-related support in clinical care would enhance the timely support greatly needed in each phase of their working life. This paper describes the development of a generic stay-at-work intervention to provide work-related support in clinical care to patients with a chronic disease.

METHODS: Steps 1-4 of Intervention Mapping (IM) were combined with action research principles. A needs assessment (Step 1) involved the project group formation, a literature review, qualitative studies with healthcare professionals (HCPs; n = 9) and patients (n = 10), consultation with financial staff and testing, and resulted in objectives (Step 2). Guided by methods and applications (Step 3), the intervention was developed, tested and finalized (Step 4).

RESULTS: The needs assessment revealed the importance of behavioral change in HCPs, including changing attitude, self-efficacy, and social influence. For that purpose, a pathway and training sessions were developed. Testing these unveiled the need for practical tools and intervision. The final intervention comprises a care pathway as part of working routines, including screening, risk stratification, and tailored support. Practical tools, training sessions, and intervision for HCPs were developed.

CONCLUSIONS: Combining IM with action research principles resulted in a generic stay-at-work intervention in clinical care via behavioral change in HCPs. A generic care pathway, practical tools, training sessions, and intervision were developed. More specific alignment to specific patient groups is possible. To implement the intervention in another hospital, the local context, (financial) resources, and the national legislation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-717
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Early online date20 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022



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