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Table 1 Background information about the content of the ‘Mental Health Problems’ guideline [22]

From: Improving occupational physicians’ adherence to a practice guideline: feasibility and impact of a tailored implementation strategy

1) Problem Orientation and Diagnosis An early involvement of the OP is promoted (first consultation about 2 weeks after the worker reports sick). A simplified classification of MHP is introduced in four categories: i) Stress-related complaints, ii) depression, iii) anxiety disorder, and iv) other psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, problem inventory should focus on factors related to the worker, his or her work environment, and the interaction between these two.
2) Intervention/Treatment The OP acts as the case manager by monitoring and evaluating the process of recovery (process-based evaluation). If the recovery process stagnates, the OP should intervene by acting as the care manager by using cognitive behavioral techniques to enhance the problem-solving capacity of the worker, providing the worker and work environment with information/advice on the recovery and the RTW process, contacting the general practitioner if problems remain the same or increase, and referring the worker to a specialized intervention if necessary. In addition, the OP should advise the work environment (e.g., supervisors, managers, and human resource managers) on how to support the worker and enhance the recovery and RTW process.
3) Relapse Prevention The integration of relapse prevention from the first contact with the worker is achieved by enhancing the problem-solving capacity of the worker.
4) Evaluation During follow-up meetings, evaluation of the recovery process includes the perspectives of the worker, supervisor, and other involved professionals. Follow-up meetings with the worker should take place every 3 weeks during the first 3 months, and then every 6 weeks thereafter. The supervisor or work environment should be contacted once a month. Follow-up contacts with the general practitioner or other professionals should take place if the recovery process stagnates or if there is doubt about the diagnosis or treatment.
  1. OP = occupational physician; MHP = mental health problems; RTW = return-to-work.