Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of a self-management intervention (including an eHealth module), compared with usual care, in employees with chronic non-specific complaints of the arm, neck or shoulder (persisting >3 months).
Methods Participants were randomised into the self-management group (SG) or usual care group (UCG). The SG participated in 6 self-management sessions and could use an eHealth module; the UCG could use all available usual care. The primary outcome of the study was score on the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH). Secondary outcomes included: absenteeism, pain in the previous week, quality of life, pain catastrophising, self-efficacy, work style, presenteeism, fatigue, and limitations experienced during work. Data were analysed using generalised estimating equations (GEE) linear regression and Mann-Whitney U tests, and were collected at baseline, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up.
Results On the general module of the DASH, no significant difference between SG and the UCG was detected. On most of the other outcome measures, there were no significant between-group differences. In the DASH work module, the between-group effect was −3.82 (95% CI −7.46 to −0.19, p=0.04). For limitations experienced in job-related activities the between-group effect was −1.01 (95% CI −1.97 to −0.04, p=0.04). The mean hours of sport activities in the past 3 months, measured at 12 months, was 1.00 h (95% CI −1.90 to −0.12 h, p=0.03) less in the SG compared with the UCG.
Conclusions The self-management intervention improved the participants’ perceived disability during work. Since no significant between-group differences were found on most outcome measures, the results of this study should be interpreted with caution.
Trial registration number Dutch Trial Registration number NTR 3816.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.