Introduction Early retirement due to mental illness or disease in musculoskeletal system has been a major problem in Finland. Municipality based occupational health service (OHS) units formed in 2011 the Finnish Occupational Health Service Quality Network (FOHSQN), which aimed to prevent disability pensions by improving the OHS processes and continuous measurements of quality and outcomes. We aimed to compare the outcomes of FOHSQN to all other actors in the public employee pensions system during the years 2011–2016.
Methods This study includes all municipality employees in Finland, whose pension insurance is provided by Keva (the public pension provider in Finland). The incidence of early retirement due to disability pension among the OHS units in the FOHSQN was compared to the incidence in the public employee pensions system for each study year. We counted indexes (partial/full pension) to describe if OHS units were able together with the employers to favour partial disability pensions.
Results The yearly number of disability pensions varied from 774 to 984 in the FOHSQN and from 4384 to 5404 in the whole public employee pensions system during 2011–2016. The incidence of disability pension was 1.10% in 2011 and 0.93% in 2016 in the FOHSQN and the corresponding figures in the total pension system 1.07% and 0.92% (p for trend 0.799). Partial/full- index increased for disability pensions from 1.17 to 2.31 in the FOHSQN and from 1.22 to 1.81 in the total pension system (p for trend 0.078)
Discussion Work disability pension incidence declined both in the total municipality pension system and FOHSQN. Also the partial disability pension became proportionally more frequent in both groups. The trends favoured the results in the FOHSQN, but the differences were not statistically significant. Pension data can be used as an outcome measure in comparison of OHS units.
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