Studies that assessed return-to-work oriented interventions with the aim of improving the ability of employees on sick leave, with or without work-related physical injuries, to cope with or manage mental health problems were eligible for inclusion in the review. Interventions had to be carried out either in the workplace or a primary care setting. All eligible participants had to be 100% employed or have guaranteed employment and be absent from work due to work-related causes. Interventions with job-seeking components were excluded.
Included studies focused on mental health problems and/or physical injuries. Half of the studies were carried out in European countries. Most were in mixed gender populations. Cognitive behavioural therapy was often the main component of interventions. Other types of psychosocial interventions were included (such as coping strategies, problem-solving and belief/attitude adjustments). All of the studies considered outcomes on an individual participant level and almost half also considered other levels such as the organisation. Outcomes varied between studies, but included return-to-work status, sick leave duration and health-related quality of life.
Two reviewers reached a consensus decision about the eligibility of each study..