Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2013;39(1):57-65    pdf full text


Does perceived work ability improve after a multidisciplinary preventive program in a population with no severe medical problems – the Finnish Public Sector Study

by Saltychev M, Laimi K, Oksanen T, Pentti J, Kivimäki M, Vahtera J

Objectives This study examines the short- and long-term effects of a multidisciplinary preventive program on perceived work ability in a population with no severe medical problems.

Methods Altogether 859 public sector employees who participated in the program in 1997–2005 and their 2426 propensity-score-matched controls were studied prospectively. Propensity scores for probability of being granted participation in the program were calculated based on the data on health, health-risk behaviors, and work-related characteristics that were gathered from repeat responses to a survey, national health registers, and employers’ records. Mean scores of perceived work ability (PWA) and prevalence ratios (PR) of suboptimal PWA were calculated after a short-term (mean 1.7 years, up to 4.6 years) and a long-term (mean 5.8 years, up to 9.2 years) follow-up.

Results No beneficial effects were observed with respect to work ability. In comparison to controls, the participants’ risk of suboptimal PWA was actually slightly higher after both the short-term [PR 1.23, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.10–1.39] and long-term (PR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06–1.31) follow-ups.

Conclusions These data suggest that the vocationally oriented multidisciplinary preventive program was ineffective in improving work ability among participants with no severe medical problems.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2010;36(5):404-412  2011;37(1):1-5  2012;38(1):27-37
The following articles refer to this text: 2015;41(5):491-503; 2016;42(4):273-279