Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Varekamp, I., Verbeek, J.H., de Boer, A., & van Dijk, F.J.H. (2011). Effect of job maintenance training program for employees with chronic disease – a randomized controlled trial on self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and fatigue. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health, 37 (4), 288-297.
Title:  Effect of job maintenance training program for employees with chronic disease – a randomized controlled trial on self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and fatigue
Authors:  Varekamp, I., Verbeek, J.H., de Boer, A., & van Dijk, F.J.H.
Year:  2011
Journal/Publication:  Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health
Publisher:  Europe PubMed Central
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Randomized controlled trial

Structured abstract:

Background:  Many employees with a chronic disease manage their work well, but others are hampered in job performance due to health complaints, physical or cognitive limitations, pain, fatigue, or medical requirements. Attention has been paid to efforts that help employees to stay at work. A review of empowerment-based interventions aimed at job maintenance shows that there is limited evidence that these are effective at enhancing self-efficacy, implementation of work accommodations, and job maintenance.
Purpose:  The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a group-based empowerment training program to assess its efficacy in solving solve work-related problems and consequently lessen psychological distress and fatigue.
Setting:  The study was conducted in multiple workplaces in the Netherlands.
Study sample:  The study group consisted of 122 participants, 64 of whom were allocated to the training group and 58 to the control group. The mean age was 46 years. Women, higher-educated persons, and individuals working in the service sector were over-represented. Eligibility for the study was determined by a self-reported chronic physical disease, a paid job, and experiencing problems at work. Workers with predominantly psychiatric conditions were excluded; however, people with a chronic physical disease with depressive feelings were not excluded.
Intervention:  The empowerment training program focused on solving work-related problems. First, work-related problems were explored and clarified; second, communication at work was addressed; and third, solutions were developed and realized. The group-training program had one trainer and eight participants and consisted of six three-hour sessions every two weeks, with a seventh session two months after the sixth. This was combined with three individual counseling sessions.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition. Control group members were not restricted to any protocol.
Data collection and analysis:  Primary outcome measures were (1) self-efficacy in solving work- and disease-related problems, (2) fatigue, and (3) job dissatisfaction. A situation-specific self-efficacy questionnaire was developed for data collection. Secondary outcome measures included (1) job maintenance, (2) work-related problems, (3) quality of life, (4) acquired work accommodations, (5) burnout, and (6) worries about work. Continuous outcome measures were analyzed at baseline and follow-up with the two-way mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance using general linear models.
Findings:  After 24 months, self-efficacy increased and fatigue decreased significantly more in the experimental than the control group. Job satisfaction increased more in the experimental group but not significantly. Job maintenance was 87% in the experimental and 91% in the control group, which was not a significant difference. It was noted that many participants in the control group also undertook actions to solve work-related problems.
Conclusions:  The authors conclude that empowerment training can increase self-efficacy and help to reduce fatigue complaints, which could lead to more job maintenance. Better understanding of ways to deal with work-related problems is needed to develop more efficient support for employees with a chronic disease.

Disabilities served:  Chronic pain
Medical impairment
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Interventions:  Non-psychological counseling
Outcomes:  Increase in tenure