Implementation of a Return to Work Strategy in Germany—Are There Changes in Work-Related Rehabilitation Measures and Employment Status in Chronic Conditions?
Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Objectives: Aging workforces with increasing numbers of chronic conditions require health initiatives with greater workplace focus. A regional pension insurance introduced a Return To Work (RTW) strategy for insurants with chronic conditions. The objective was to identify the degree of implementation of work related measures in medical rehabilitation and the extent of RTW outcomes. Methods: 5883 insurants were considered. Severe Restriction of Work Ability ( SRWA), Work-related Medical
... ed Medical Rehabilitation (WMR), and Case Management (CM) were examined for 2008 and 2012. An Index of Employment status (IoE) was used in a logistic regression. Results: Utilization of WMR raised from 12.3% in 2008 to 66.1% in 2012. The proportion of insurants with SRWA and WMR grew from 8% up to 40.1%. In 2008, 14.7% of insurants with SRWA received WMR; in 2012, it grew to 76.6%. On the other hand, in 2012 26% got WMR without SRWA and 12.2% had SRWA and got no WMR. CM was not conducted in 2008 but reached 20.2% in 2012. Across all indications, WMR resulted in positive RTW as measured by IoE: OR = 0.75 (KI-95%: 0.67 -0.86). Conclusion: WMR was successfully implemented according to the German guideline. There is a need to optimize the linkage between SRWA and WMR and CM to provide need-based care.