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  • 1.
    Dunstan, Debra
    et al.
    University of New England, Australia.
    Mortelmanns, Katrien
    Department Research and Development, Occupational Health Services 'Group IDEWE', Belgium.
    Tjulin, Åsa
    Mälardalens högskola.
    MacEachen, Ellen
    University of Waterloo, Canada.
    The role of co-workers the return-to-work process2015In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 10, p. 9-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a large body of research examining work disability management and the return to work (RTW) of sick or injured workers. However, although this research makes clear the roles of the returning worker and supervisor, that of the co-workers is less well understood. To increase understanding of this topic, we have identified, reviewed, and discussed three studies that emerged from our connection with a Canadian research-training program. The first study, conducted in Sweden by Tjulin, MacEachen, and Ekberg (2009), showed that co-workers can play a positive rolein RTW, but this is often invisible to supervisors. The second study, undertaken by Dunstan and MacEachen (2013) in Canada, found that RTW could both positively and negatively impact co-workers. For instance, co-workers may benefit from learning new skills, but may also be burdened by the need to assume extra work to accommodate a returning worker. The third study, performed in Belgium by Mortelmans and Verjans (2012) and Mortelmans, Verjans, and Mairiaux (2012) reported the need to include the expectations and objections of co-workers in RTW plans and implemented a three-step RTW tool that involves co-workers. Taken together, these studies highlight the social context of work, the positive roleplayed by co-workers in the RTW process, the impacts of workplace social relations on RTW outcomes, and the benefits to all of involving co-workers in RTW plans. 

  • 2.
    Hansen, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Landstad, Bodil
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Gundersen, Kjell Terje
    Faculty of Education, Nord University, Norway.
    Vinberg, Stig
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Leader-Based Workplace Health Interventions — A Before–After Study in Norwegian and Swedish Small-Scale Enterprises2016In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 11, no e5, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to contribute to knowledge about leader-based workplace health interventions by investigating changes in psychosocial working conditions and health in Norwegian and Swedish small-scale enterprises (SSEs). The study also aims to investigate whether there are differences between position, and countries. In total, 30 leaders and 149 coworkers in 34 SSEs participated in two intervention and two reference groups. Leaders and coworkers completed the validated questionnaires (Nordic Questionnaire on Positive Organizational Psychology ([N-POP]), Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS), and Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale (SHIS), which cover different psychosocial working conditions and health outcomes. The interventions were carried out by advisors from occupational health services (OHSs) over a one-year period and consisted of analyses of health and psychosocial working conditions, company visits, education and networking meetings, including information and tools on issues such as leadership, work environment and health, and leadership support. The statistical methods used included principal component analyses, reliability tests, paired sample t tests and three-way ANOVA. The results indicate a significant positive development concerning external job performance in the intervention groups. Regarding internal job performance, both the Norwegian intervention group and the reference group showed positive improvements. However, there were negative or nonsignificant developments for several of the psychosocial working conditions and health outcomes in the intervention groups. With regard to associations and interactions between the studied variables, there were significantly positive developments with regard to external job performance and sickness absences in the total intervention group. The study indicates that more thorough procedures and testing of leader-based interventions in SSEs are required.

  • 3.
    John, Selander
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Tjulin, Åsa
    Division of Public Health Sciences, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalens University, Sweden.
    Mussner, Ulrika
    Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Sweden.
    Ekberg, Kerstin
    HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre, Linkoping University, Sweden.
    Contact With the Workplace During Long-Term Sickness Absence and Worker Expectations of Return to Work2015In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 10, article id e3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since long-term sickness absence constitutes a problem in most western countries, research that can facilitate return to work (RTW) is important. Today there is evidence that the social context at the workplace has a significant impact on return to work. The dual aims of the study was firstly to investigate the pattern and quality of contact between employees on long-term sick leave and different actors at the workplace, and secondly to investigate whether contacts with the workplace were associated with expectations regarding return to work. An explorative method and descriptive design was used for the first aim. For the second aim, the data was analysed in a multivariate logistic regression model. The results show that employees had frequent and, in most cases, appreciated contact with their supervisor and co-workers. Contact with other workplace actors; that is, the occupational health unit, the union representative, and the human resources department, were less frequent. Employees who experienced the contact as supportive and constructive were far more positive and optimistic than others regarding return to work. It is concluded that supervisors and co-workers should be aware that they play a significant role in the return-to-work process, and that quality of contact is what matters.

  • 4.
    Källmén, Håkan
    et al.
    Karolinska institutet, Stockholm.
    Leifman, Håkan
    Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), Sweden .
    Hermansson, Ulric
    Karolinska institutet, Stockholm.
    Vinberg, Stig
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    The Prevalence of Alcohol Prevention Efforts in Swedish Workplaces2013In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents results from a survey aimed at identifying the extent of alcohol prevention efforts in Swedish workplaces focusing on the dissemination of a model for secondary prevention — the 'Risk Drinking model'. From a random sample of 929 human resource managers at Swedish workplaces, 374 answered a web-based questionnaire (response rate = 40%). Results showed that about 70% had an alcohol policy at their workplace, 51% were engaged in alcohol prevention efforts and about 19% used the Risk Drinking model. Regression analyses showed that large workplaces, workplaces where employees received training on alcohol, public sector and female-dominated workplaces were significantly associated with alcohol prevention activities. We conclude that training is important for the implementation of alcohol prevention at Swedish workplaces, and is of particular importance in small enterprises.

  • 5.
    Olsson, Inger
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Millet, Patrick
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Vinberg, Stig
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Olsson, Göran
    Bergroth, Alf
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Landstad, Bodil
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Social welfare in Singapore and Sweden: Differences in organisational systems of health care, social security and rehabilitation.2008In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 30-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study is to describe and compare the health care, social security and rehabilitation systems in Singapore and Sweden. Two fundamental differences can be identified. First, the system in Singapore are strongly oriented towards a free market system, while Sweden’s demonstrates strong public control. Second, following from how the systems are oriented, Singaporeans are expected to have a higher degree of independence and control over their health care, social security and rehabilitation. It appears that Singapore has had greater success in attaining and maintaining a system of health promotion, which influences the three systems. However, the Swedish welfare system provides greater security to those who are in need of health care, social security and rehabilitation.

     

  • 6.
    Selander, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Is Employer-Based Disability Management Necessary in a Social-Democratic Welfare State like Sweden?2016In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 11, article id e4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article the need for employer-based disability management (DM) in a modern welfare state is discussed. The article is not a traditional research article, but rather a conceptual article with a purpose to discuss and reflect over existing perspectives, and argue for a stronger focus on welfare state issues in DM research. Focus is set on Sweden and it is concluded that much of the thought behind DM is indeed built into the comprehensive welfare system. In addition to the employer's responsibilities regarding ill-health prevention, the Acts and regulations of the governmental social insurance agency's responsibilities regarding return to work are comprehensive. As can be seen, however, this is no guarantee that the established process will work in practice. In too many cases, the system in Sweden is suffering from organisational and case-level related problems. Against this background, it is suggested that current responsibilities put on the social insurance agency can be removed and instead be put on the employer. The answer to the main question stated in this article (i.e., ‘Is employer-based DM necessary in a social-democratic welfare state like Sweden?’) is obviously yes.

  • 7.
    Selander, John
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Buys, Nicholas
    Griffith University, Australia.
    Sickness absence as an indicator of health in Sweden2010In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 5, p. 40-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For many years Sweden has experienced high rates of sickness absence among employees. Sickness absence is often regarded as an indicator of health in a population, with low rates of absence associated with good health and high degrees of absence associated with poor health. The aim of this article is to examine this hypothesis — that the high rates of sickness absence in Sweden is an indicator of poor health. Sickness absence and health data was obtained from official government statistics in order to compare Sweden with six other European countries and a number of health-related variables. The hypothesis was not supported by the results of this study. While Sweden has a high rate of sickness absence, it ranks highly on a range of health variables when compared to other European countries. Instead, sickness absence may be more strongly associated with rates of unemployment. In times of high unemployment, sickness absence is low, and in times low unemployment, sickness absence is high. While public health programs are essential components of primary health care initiatives, the evidence from this study indicates that they are unlikely to have significant impact on sickness absence in Sweden. Instead more effort should be made to intervene early following sickness absence through providing timely vocational rehabilitation and disability management programs.

  • 8.
    Tjulin, Åsa
    et al.
    Division of Public Health Sciences, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Malardalens University, Sweden .
    Mussner, Ulrika
    Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Sweden .
    Selander, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ekberg, Kerstin
    National Centre for Work and Rehabilitation, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Sweden .
    Learning Experiences in Return to Work Among Workplace Actors2015In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 10, article id e1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The objective of this article was to investigate how individual learning emerges among workplace actors during the return-to-work process, and whether the prerequisites for collective learning at the workplace are present and managed by the actors. Learning in this context is viewed as a change in the preconceptions, experience or competence of the individual as a result of interactions in the workplace due to the return-to-work process. Method: A qualitative method was used, consisting of open-ended interviews with 19 individuals across 11 workplaces in the public and private sector. Inductive content analysis was performed. Results: The key findings from this study are that individual learning emerges in the return-to-work process due to previous experience, communication with other workplace actors, or insights into what works for the individual. However, the individual learning that occurs in the return-to-work process is not carried over into workplace learning due to barriers in understanding the needs and opportunities that may be present in the process. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that individual learning occurs within social practices through social interaction between the actors involved (workers on sickness absence supervisors and colleagues) and individual experiences. A greater knowledge of the factors that contribute to workplace learning could facilitate biopsychosocial and ecological return-to-work interventions, which allow workplace actors to draw on previous experiences from one return-to-work process to another.

  • 9.
    Vinberg, Stig
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programs in Swedish public human service organisations2014In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 9, p. 1-1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: This presentation focuses on results from studies concerning workplace health and rehabilitationinterventions in one Swedish rural municipality including 19 workplaces with a population of 311 individuals.The municipality has implemented a model for human resource accounting, an extensive leader and co-worker development program and specific workplace based health and rehabilitation measures. Methods: The studies compare co-workers and leaders self-ratings of health and psychosocial working conditions,and investigate how workplace health and rehabilitation programs affect these ratings by analysing quantitativeresults before, during and after carried out interventions. Qualitative data collection consisted of semi-structuredinterviews with middle managers and an examination of documents reviewing content of the interventions thathad been carried out. Findings: Results indicate differences concerning how the leaders and the co-workers judge their health andpsychosocial working conditions. When comparing mean changes in scores on indexes by individuals grouped inthe high quality workplace-based program group with individuals grouped in the low quality workplace-basedprogram group, there were more positive mean changes for the former group. Discussion: The findings of differences concerning how public sector leaders and co-workers judge their healthand psychosocial working conditions give support for different job characteristics for these two categories ofemployees. The rather strong relationships in the assumed direction between employees’ assessment of changesin health, and changes concerning stress and psychosocial working conditions that resulted are in line with otherresearch studies. Comparing workplaces grouped as having high quality workplace-based programs with workplaces with low quality workplace-based programs indicates that workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programsin public human service organizations using a broad change strategy with high levels of participation from bothmanagers and co-workers, and developed leadership behaviour are more effective in improving employee health and psychosocial working conditions.

  • 10.
    Vinberg, Stig
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Landstad, Bodil
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences. Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust, Norway.
    Workplace-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation Programs in Swedish Public Human Service Organisations2014In: International Journal of Disability Mangement Research, ISSN 1833-8550, E-ISSN 1834-4887, Vol. 9, article id Art. no. e1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to knowledge about workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programs by investigating effects on outcomes concerning employee health, psychosocial working conditions, sickness absence, sick-cases and rehabilitation indicators in 19 Swedish public human service workplaces including 311 individuals. Interviews with middle managers and an examination of documentation about prevention and rehabilitation interventions at the workplaces made it possible to group the workplaces in two workplace program groups — high versus low quality workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programs. Statistical methods used were reliability tests, correlation analyses and t tests. Results indicate significant associations between changes in employee-judged stress and psychosocial working conditions, and changes in employee-judged health. The results concerning changes in employees’ health, stress and psychosocial working conditions (after workplace-based programs) showed significant differences between workplaces with high quality workplace-based programs compared with workplaces with low quality workplace-based programs, with the former having more favourable results. The study indicates that workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programs with a broad change strategy and high levels of management and employee involvement can apply to small public sector workplaces.

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