Published: 01-02-2019 08:44 | Updated: 22-05-2019 15:18

Project about sick leave patterns after work-related injuries receives 5 million SEK from ‘AFA Försäkring’

The research project is led by Ritva Rissanen, postdoc at the Department of Public Health Sciences, and will investigate sick leave patterns when returning to work after a work-related injury, among young adults.

Ritva Rissanen.

Tell us about the project, what is it about?

"Previous studies show that young adults are more vulnerable to work-related injuries and that the proportion of sick leave in this age group is increasing faster than for other age groups. To break this trend, it is important to develop knowledge based on young people's own experiences of a work-related injuries and how the injury may have affected their lives. Today, there is a lack of knowledge about the psychological and physical consequences of work-related injuries and of sick leave patterns among young adults.

"The project aims to deepen the knowledge about sick leave patterns and return to work after a work-related injury among young adults at the age 19-29 years. And to increase knowledge about young adults’ own experiences about preventive or facilitative factors in relation to return to work after an injury.”

"The project is based on two sub-studies; a longitudinal, registry-based study, and a qualitative study based on individual interviews with young adults who have suffered a work-related injury. Through the registers that are available in Sweden, it becomes possible to study patterns in return to work after a work-related injury for the entire population and a more nuanced picture can be given of the time after a work-related injury. Qualitative studies that reflect young people's own experiences of the consequences of an injury can provide valuable new knowledge that can be used in designing strategies to facilitate return to work. The project will thereby contribute to important knowledge that can form the basis for rehabilitation plans for returning to work for young people."

What are you hoping that this project will lead to?

"I hope that this project will contribute with new knowledge that can aid in the development of preventive- and rehabilitation measures for young people after a work-related injury. From the 1st of July 2018, the employer has an obligation to make a rehabilitation plan in cases of long-term sickness absence. That means that it is important to identify which measures are needed for a successful return to work for young adults and give them the opportunity to work with maintained health through their working life."

The project is one of the eight that are awarded project grants from the research programme about young adults’ work life by 'AFA Försäkring'.