Work Participation of Employees with Common Mental Disorders: A Meta-synthesis

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisReviewForskningpeer review


The aim was to aggregate knowledge about the opportunities, challenges and need for support employees with common mental disorders experience in relation to work participation in order to develop recommendations for practice.

A meta-synthesis was conducted using a meta-aggregative approach to accurately and reliably present ndings that could be used to meet our aim. Qualitative inductive content analysis was used to analyze and synthesize the ndings.

In all, 252 findings were extracted from 16 papers, and six categories were generated and aggregated into two synthesized findings. One synthesized finding indicates that a strong work identity and negative perceptions regarding mental disorders can impede work participation, creating an essential need for a supportive work environment. The other reveals that the diffuse nature of the symptoms of mental disorders causes instability in life and loss of control, but through the use of internal motivation and external support, employees may be able to regain control of their lives. However, external support is hampered by insufficient cooperation and coordination between vocational stakeholders.

Based on the synthesized findings, we recommended that the employer is involved in the rehabilitation process, and that rehabilitation professionals seek to strengthen the employee’s ability to manage work-related stress. In addition, rehabilitation professionals should provide individualized and active support and ensure meaningful cooperation across the multidisciplinary disciplines involved in the rehabilitation process.
TidsskriftJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Sider (fra-til)1-13
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2018


  • Mental disorders, Vocational rehabilitation, Return to work, Review , Qualitative research

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