• Sofie Stefanie Devantie Hansen
  • Kirsten Kjeldager Øe
  • Lina Nørgaard
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Mental health problems, including stress and depression, is today one of the
main causes of sickness absence and increased early retirement. The reasons behind are not
fully understood and clear evidence is still missing of how to make effective interventions,
enabling employees on sick leave with stress and depression to return to work. Due to the
lack of evidence, there is a need to examine further, what can be done for the target group to
return to work.
Aim: The project investigates how to develop guidelines for a health intervention at
Sundhedscenter Vejle, which will enable employees on sick leave with stress and depression
to return to work fast.
Method: A systematic literature review is undertaken where the findings are compared with
a case study that uses a qualitative data collection method in the form of semi-structured
interviews. The results found in the literature study and interview survey coupled with the
theory of Sense of Coherence, is used to contribute to a deeper understanding of the empirical
Results: Professional elements and other elements may affect how quickly employees on sick
leave with stress and depression return to work. The professional elements that have shown to
have an effect are; self-help exercises, physical activity, psychotherapy in addition to
education and training including awareness of the condition. The other elements that have an
impact are; contact to the employer, support from next of kin, group dynamics and the time
aspect, i.e., early start and follow-up. The results further show that the employees on sick
leave through the identified elements over time can promote Sense of Coherence. In addition,
the intervention should be restricted to include employees on sick leave with stress and mild
Conclusion: To secure a faster to return to work for employees on sick leave, we need to take
into account both professional elements and other elements that are available. Through the
intervention and the elements included, the employees on sick leave can obtain tools, which
in the long-term can promote their Sense of Coherence. Furthermore, it is more appropriate to
focus on getting the employees on sick leave to return to work versus focusing on getting the
employees on sick leave to return to work fast, as it increases the probability of a sustainable
return for the employees.
Publication date1 Jun 2015
Number of pages177
External collaboratorSundhedscenter Vejle
Birthe Pors BIPOR@vejle.dk
ID: 213337221