Work-Anxiety and Sickness Absence After a Short Inpatient Cognitive Behavioral Group Intervention in Comparison to a Recreational Group Meeting

Objective To study the effects of a short term cognitive behavior therapy on work-anxiety and sickness-absence in patients with work-anxiety. Methods Three-hundred-forty-five inpatients who suffered from cardiologic, neurological or orthopaedic problems and additionally work-anxiety were randomly assigned into two different group-interventions. Patients got four sessions of a group intervention, which either focussed on cognitive behaviour-therapy anxiety-management (work-anxiety-coping-group, WAG), or unspecific recreational activities (RG). Results 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 six-months-follow-up was shorter in the WAG (WAG: 11 weeks, RG: 16 weeks, p=.050). Conclusion A short term work-anxiety-coping-group may help return to work in patients with work-anxieties, as long as there is no comorbid mental disorder.


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