Multidisciplinary collaborative care for depressive disorder in the occupational health setting: Design of a randomised controlled trial and cost-effectiveness study

Authors: Vocational rehabilitation of participants with severe substance use disorders in a VA Veterans Industries Program
Year Published 2008
Publication BMC Health Services Research
Volume 8
Number 99
Pages 63-72
Publisher BioMed Central

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has major consequences for both patients and society, particularly in terms of needlessly long sick leave and reduced functioning. Although evidence-based treatments for MDD are available, they show disappointing results when implemented in daily practice. A focus on work is also lacking in the treatment of depressive disorder as well as communication of general practitioners (GPs) and other healthcare professionals with occupational physicians (OPs). The OP may play a more important role in the recovery of patients with MDD.


The purpose of the study was to apply a collaborative care model, which has proven to be effective in the USA, with a focus on return to work (RTW). From a societal perspective, the (cost) effectiveness of this collaborative care treatment, as a way of transmural care, will be evaluated in depressed patients on sick leave in the occupational health setting.


The setting is an occupational health program in the Netherlands.


The study sample includes 126 patients with major depressive disorder.

Data Collection

Data will be collected by means of questionnaires at baseline and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after baseline. Primary outcome measure is reduction of depressive symptoms, secondary outcome measure is time to RTW, tertiary outcome measure is the cost effectiveness.


There was no comparison or control group.


The study is 4 years and ongoing.


The high prevalence and burden of MDD, the high level of sickness absence among people with MDD and the negative consequences of prolonged sickness absence for patients as well as society contribute to the relevance of this study. Purpose of this study is to not only reduce depressive symptoms, but also to achieve an earlier, long-lasting RTW.

Disabilities Emotional disturbance
Populations Male & Female
Outcomes Return to work
Research Design Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
Peer Reviewed Yes