Table 1

 Main characteristics of the participating patients and a comparison of the characteristics of patients assigned to the intervention group and the control group

CharacteristicTotal participantsIntervention groupControl group
n = 1564n = 505n = 1059
*p<0.05 for comparison intervention group with control group.
Age in years: mean±SD (median) (range)38±7.7 (39) (18–50)39±7.2 (40) (19–50)38±7.9 (39) (19–50)
Age class in % (n = 1564, n = 505, n = 1059): 18–24 y/25–34 y/35–45 y/>45 y6/24/45/254/21/49/27*7/25/44/24
Gender in % (n = 1564, n = 505,n = 1059): male/female50/5041/59*54/46
Marital status in % (n = 1454, n = 483, n = 971): married or co-habit/single77/2379/2176/24
Social support from friends or relatives in difficult times in % (n = 1429, n = 472, n = 957): yes/no92/892/892/8
Close relative on sickness absence or disability benefit in % (n = 1440, n = 480, n = 960): yes/no23/7723/7723/77
Highest education level in % (n = 1445, n = 480, n = 965): elementary/3 y secondary/secondary/advanced15/24/47/1416/23/47/1415/25/47/13
Financially dependent persons in % (n = 1450, n = 479, n = 971): yes/no51/4951/4951/49
Financial problems since the onset of sickness absence benefit dependence in % (n = 1449, n = 480, n = 969): yes/no15/8515/8515/85
Financial problems prior to sickness absence benefit dependence in % (n = 1472, n = 473, n = 954): yes/no3/973/973/97
Supplementary financial compensation in % (n = 1442, n = 472, n = 970): yes/no11/8910/9011/89
Intention to involve an attorney in % (n = 1446, n = 480, n = 966): yes/no/maybe2/90/82/90/82/89/9
Smoking habits in % (n = 1453, n = 482, n = 971): smoker/non-smoker41/5935/65*45/55
Drinking habits in % (n = 1411, n = 472, n = 939): weekly number of consumptions: <3/3–9/>965/21/1466/21/1364/22/14
Exercise habits in % (n = 1362, n = 455, n = 907): weekly sport activity of at least 30 minutes: <1/1–2/>246/35/1945/35/2047/35/18
Body mass index in % (n = 1424, n = 470, n = 954): <20/20–24/25–29/30–39/>399/46/32/12/19/46/31/13/18/47/33/12/1
Work status in % (n = 1455, n = 483, n = 972): blue collar/white collar71/2970/3072/28
Work schema in % (n = 1456, n = 481, n = 975): full time/part time73/2764/36*78/22
Experience in the current profession in % (n = 1446, n = 479, n = 967): <1 y/1–5 y/>5 y8/22/706/20/73*9/23/68
Experience at the current employer in % (n = 1449, n = 482, n = 971): <1 y;1–5 y/>5 y10/27/637/24/70*12/29/59
Trade union member in % (n = 1450, n = 482, n = 968): yes/no79/2177/2380/20
Trade union representative in % (n = 1096, n = 353, n = 743): no/yes19/8117/8320/80
Pathology leading to sickness absence evaluated by patient in % (n = 1432, n = 474, n = 958): orthopaedic/psychological–psychiatric/other61/20/1958/21/2064/18/18
Pathology leading to sickness absence evaluated by social insurance physician in % (n = 1554, n = 504, n = 1050): orthopaedic/psychological–psychiatric/other62/19/1960/20/2063/19/18
The presence of a relationship between the pathology and the work conditions assessed by the patient in % (n = 1432, n = 474, n = 958): absolutely not/a little/a lot/completely36/30/15/1934/33/16/1738/28/14/20
The presence of a relationship between the pathology and the work conditions assessed by the social insurance physician in % (n = 1554, n = 504, n = 1050): no/yes76/2477/2376/24
Regret not being able to work in % (n = 1422, n = 472, n = 950): a lot/quite a lot/not that much/not at all48/45/6/144/50/6/1*51/42/6/1
Prognosis regarding work resumption assessed by the patient in % (n = 1366, n = 456, n = 910): within 1 month/within 1–3 months/not in the following 3 months/never49/31/11/947/31/13/1050/30/11/9