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Table 1 Summary of the content of the MHP guideline [21, 29, 30]

From: Effectiveness of a tailored implementation strategy to improve adherence to a guideline on mental health problems in occupational health care

Part of the guideline Content and recommendations
1. Problem Orientation and Diagnosis An early involvement of the OP in the sick leave process of the worker is promoted (first consultation within 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, the 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 recovery process. If 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 the work environment with information and advice on the recovery and the RTW process, contact the general practitioner when problems remain the same or increase, and refer 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 Integration of relapse prevention from the first contact with the worker by enhancing the problem-solving capacity of the worker. The newly acquired problem solving skills are explicitly addressed in at least one specific relapse prevention meeting after RTW.
4. Continuity of care / Evaluation During all 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 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 when the recovery process stagnates or when there is doubt about the diagnosis or treatment.
  1. Source: NVAB guideline The management of mental health problems of workers by occupational physicians’ [21], see also [29, 30]
  2. OP Occupational physician, RTW Return-to-work