Aims: To evaluate an occupational health intervention programme for workers at risk for early retirement.
Methods: Between April 1997 and May 1998, 116 employees of a large company who were older than 50 years indicated that they would not be able to work up to their retirement. They were randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 61) or control group (n = 55). The intervention programme lasted six months and was executed by an occupational physician. Job position and number of sick leave days after two years were collected from the company’s computer database. A questionnaire was sent to the employees at baseline, after six months, and after two years; it included the Work Ability Index, the Utrecht Burn Out Scale, and the Nottingham Health Profile measuring quality of life.
Results: Fewer employees (11%) in the intervention group retired early than in the control group (28%). The total average number of sick leave days in two years was 82.3 for the intervention group and 107.8 for the control group. Six months after baseline, employees in the intervention group had better work ability, less burnout, and better quality of life than employees in the control group. Two years after randomisation no differences between the two groups were found.
Conclusions: This occupational health intervention programme proved to be a promising intervention in the prevention of early retirement.
- early retirement
- occupational health services
- randomised controlled trial
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