Pilot study examining a profession-oriented rehabilitation concept for nursing professions
Objectives: Nursing professions are associated with high levels of psychological distress, high numbers of absent days and premature retirement. To achieve higher return-to-work rates, psychosomatic rehabilitation is expected to offer treatments tailored to workplace demands. This pilot study is the first to examine the effects of a new workplace-oriented medical rehabilitation program for nursing professions.
Methods: A total of N = 145 depressed patients in nursing occupations (86.9 % female; 50.9 ± 7.34 years) took part in a workplace-oriented rehabilitation program for nursing professions. At admission they were compared to N = 147 depressed patients (63.27 % female; 49.36 ± 7.58 years) in non-nursing professions regarding patterns of work-related experience and behaviour (AVEM) using a MANOVA with follow-up ANOVAs for individual subscales. Changes in work-related attitudes among the nursing professions following completion of the intervention were assessed using a MANOVA followed by repeated measures ANOVAs. The effect of the workplace- oriented intervention on depressiveness (BDI-II) was compared to a treatment program for depression using a mixed model after taking potentially confounding variables into account.
Results: At entry, depressed patients in nursing professions scored significantly higher on AVEM scale willingness to work to exhaustion and lower on AVEM scale distancing ability compared to depressed patients in other professions. Following completion of the workplace-oriented intervention program for nursing professions, participants showed a significant reduction on AVEM scales subjective importance of work, willingness to work to exhaustion, and striving for perfection. Increasing scores were observed on the distancing ability and life satisfaction scales. Depression scores had significantly improved at discharge in both participants of the work-oriented intervention and the disorder-specific intervention for depressive disorders, whereas neither group differences nor interaction effects were found.
Conclusions: The work-oriented intervention for nursing professions successfully induced changes in maladaptive work-related attitudes. Improvements in depressiveness did not significantly differ from an intervention targeting depression specifically.