Introduction A large amount of people with a chronic disease experience difficulties in participation in work, mostly irrespective of diagnosis. How can OHPs be facilitated in supporting people with chronic disease in work participation?
Methods First, evidence was gathered through two systematic reviews, examining factors and interventions influencing work participation. A questionnaire and five focus groups meetings were used to explore perspectives of people with a chronic disease regarding value of work, solutions to participate in work and need of support. Second, for OHPs to use the evidence in practice, a training was developed through input of focus meetings with OHPs and interviews with education experts. The training was evaluated on feasibility using a questionnaire.
Results Health-related, environmental and personal factors such as age, social support and motivation were reported to influence participation in work irrespective of diagnosis. Effective interventions that increase work participation irrespective of diagnosis, focused on changes in work tasks, work environment, work organisation and work conditions. People with a chronic disease reported to value work. They had several solutions to retain or return to work, e.g.: energy management, changes in work tasks or environment. They needed support from colleagues, OHPs or patient federations to find or implement these solutions. OHPs reported several training needs to use the evidence in practice, which can be learned through the use of teaching methods as a case study, debate, role play or interview with stakeholders. Evaluation of the feasibility of the training will follow.
Discussion Various factors and interventions, the role of people with a chronic disease, and perceived value of work influence work participation irrespective of diagnosis. A training is developed to facilitate OHPs in the use of the evidence to optimise their support to people with a chronic disease.
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