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Table 1 Summary of the guideline on mental health problems [12]

From: Occupational physicians’ perceived barriers and suggested solutions to improve adherence to a guideline on mental health problems: analysis of a peer group training

Part of the guideline Content
1. Problem orientation and diagnosis An early involvement of the OP in the sick leave process of the worker is promoted (first consultation about 2 weeks after the worker reports sick). A simplified classification of mental health problems 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 case manager by monitoring and evaluating the process of recovery (process-based evaluation). When recovery stagnates, the OP should intervene by acting as 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 GP when problems remain or increase, and referring the worker to a specialized intervention when 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. The newly acquired problem solving skills are resumed in at least one specific relapse prevention meeting after RTW.
4. Evaluation During follow-up meetings, evaluation of the recovery process includes the perspectives of the worker, supervisor, and other professionals involved. Follow-up meetings with the worker should take place every 3 weeks during the first 3 months, and every 6 weeks thereafter. The supervisor or work environment should be contacted once a month. Follow-up contacts with the GP or other professionals should take place when the recovery process stagnates or when there is doubt about the diagnosis or treatment.
  1. OPs occupational physicians, RTW return-to-work, GP general practitioner