Quality improvement activity in occupational healthcare associated with reduced need for disability retirement: A Bayesian mixed effects modelling study in Finland
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CitationKuronen, J. Winell, K. Kopra, J. Räsänen, K. (2020). Quality improvement activity in occupational healthcare associated with reduced need for disability retirement: A Bayesian mixed effects modelling study in Finland. Scandinavian journal of work environment and health, [Epub ahead of print 17 May 2020], 1-9. 10.5271/sjweh.3901.
There is evidence that occupational healthcare (OHC) may improve employees’ work ability. This
research was designed to study whether common quality improvement (QI) activities in the OHC quality network
(OQN) – a voluntary collaborative forum – can reduce the need for disability pensions.
Methods The study population comprised employees under the care of 19 OHC units in Finland affiliated with
the OQN. The association of 12 QI activities with new disability pensions during the years 2011–2017 was
analyzed by Bayesian mixed effects modelling.
Patients of OHC units affiliated with the OQN have fewer full permanent disability pensions [odds
ratio (OR) 0.77, 95% credible interval (CI) 0.60–0.98] and full provisional disability pensions (OR 0.68, 95%
CI 0.53–0.87) than patients of unaffiliated units. Of the studied QI activities, the measurements of intervening
in excessive use of alcohol had the strongest association with the incidence of all disability pensions (OR 0.53,
95% CI 0.41–0.68). Participation in the focus of work measurements and quality facilitator training was also
associated with the reduced incidence of disability pensions (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.71–0.98, and OR 0.92, 95 CI
Affiliation with a quality network seemed to improve outcomes by reducing full disability pensions
or replacing them by partial disability pensions. Some QI activities in the OQN were associated with a reduction
of disability pensions.