Return to work: A comparison of two cognitive behavioral interventions in cases of work-related psychological complaints among the self-employed

Authors: Bogenschutz, M., Rumrill, P. D., Seward, H. E., Inge, K. J., & Hinterlong, P. C.
Year Published 2006
Publication Work & Stress
Volume 20
Number 2
Pages 129-144
Publisher Taylor & Francis

The effectiveness of two cognitive behavioral interventions in cases of work related psychological complaints (such as anxiety, depression and burnout) among the self employed were investigated. One intervention was conducted by psychotherapists and involved extensive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The other intervention was delivered by "labor experts" and consisted of a brief CBT-derived intervention combined with both individual focused and workplace interventions.


The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of individual focused and workplace interventions.


The setting for the intervention was either in the persons' homes or workplaces.


The study sample included 122 self employed people who had applied for sickness benefit from an insurance company.

Data Collection

Data was collected using scale for psychological complaints, return to work, working conditions and social support.


The comparison condition was cognitive behavioral therapy.


Significant effects on partial and full return to work were found in favor of the combined intervention: partial return occurred 17 and 30 days earlier in this group than in the CBT group and the control group. For full return to work, the difference was approximately 200 days. A decrease in psychological complaints was present in each condition, but no significant interaction effects were found.


The results suggest that work resumption should be addressed earlier in individuals receiving CBT.

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