Table 1

Characteristics of the included RCTs

Author, year, countrySickness absence duration prior to the interventionFollow-upIntervention(s)Comparator(s)Sample size, dropoutsDifference in RTW between intervention(s) and comparator
De Vente et al, 27 2008,
The Netherlands
2 weeks–6 months10 months
  • CBT-based individual SMT

  • CBT-based group SMT

Care as usualn=82, n=20n.s.
Lindegård et al, 31 2022,
<6 months15 monthsCare as usual+individually tailored interventionsCare as usualn=142, n=7n.s.
Nieuwenhuijsen et al, 32
The Netherlands
Not described6 monthsLight therapy/electromagnetic field therapy+coaching
  • Not activated light therapy/electromagnetic field therapy+coaching

  • Coaching

n=96, n=12n.s.
Salomonsson et al,33 2020,
1–6 months1 year
  • CBT

  • RTW intervention

  • RTW intervention+CBT

Comparison of the interventions with each othern=152, n=6n.s.
Stenlund et al, 34 35 2009+2012, Sweden3–24 months2009:
1 year
3 years
Cognitively oriented behavioural rehabilitation+QigongQigong2009: n=136, n=43
2012: n=107, n=37
Willert et al,36 2011,
2–26 weeks11 monthsStress management interventionWait listn=61, not describedn.s.
  • CBT, cognitive-behavioural treatment; n.s, non-significant; RCTs, randomised controlled trials; RTW, return to work; SMT, stress management training.