- Effect evaluation of the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NLWA) service ”At Work and Coping” (AWaC) showed that AWaC participants had higher work participation at 12 months follow-up, compared to a control condition receiving treatment as usual.
- Participants in the AWaC group achieved 44,2% full or partial work participation, compared to 37,3% in the control condition.
- The effect of AWaC on work participation persisted at 18 months follow-up, and was particularly strong in a subgroup of participants on long-term benefits.
About the project
”At Work and Coping” is an NLWA service aimed at preventing sickness absence, disability and unemployment and promoting return to work in people with common mental disorders. Uni Research Health received funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Labor to conduct an effect evaluation of the AWaC service through a randomized controlled multicentre trial.
Anxiety and depression
Participants in the AWaC trial had a mean age of 40 years, and a majority of women (67%). More than half of participants (55%) had an education at college or university level. At project initiation, 70% of participants reported clinical symptoms of anxiety, whilst 50% reported clinical symptoms of depression. Participants also reported high levels of a variety of other health problems. When included in the project, 32% of participants were employed, 39% were on sick leave, and 27% received work clarification allowances, disability pensions or unemployment benefits.
What is ”At Work and Coping”?
The ”At Work and Coping” service was initiated in the National strategy for work and mental health (2007-2012), and has been operative since 2008. The service is intended for people with symptoms of common mental disorders disrupting work participation and coping at work. An integrative approach combining cognitive behavioral therapy and principles from the work rehabilitation model ”Individual Placement and Support” (IPS) is employed to enhance work participation and work coping. Individual counseling in the form of ”cognitive work coping” is offered to aid participants in coping with symptoms of common mental disorders in a work context.
Main objectives of the effect evaluation were to
- Evaluate the effect of ”At Work and Coping” on employment rates, mental health and quality of life
- Generate further knowledge on the effects of work-focused interventions in common mental disorders
- Conduct a systematic analysis of how the AWaC trial integrates with the NLWA system as a whole and the primary health care system