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MI-NAV project at OsloMet

Intensive follow-up of people on sick leave. Effect of two follow-up interventions compared to usual NAV practice for people with musculoskeletal disorders



Information about the research project

In this project we want to investigate how NAV and primary health care can give better follow-up to people who are one sick leave because of a musculoskeletal disorder. The aim is to get more knowledge about work and health for people with different musculoskeletal conditions, such as pain, illness or injuries in muscles or joints. In the project we will test if two different types of follow-up can help people on sick leave to return to work sooner, compared to usual NAV follow-up. The interventions consist of two types of conversation to get a better understanding of the situation for the person who is on sick leave, and to help with the return to work process.


If you are on sick leave because of a musculoskeletal disorder, this is a chance for you to help us develop better follow-up for you and others in the same situation. Your contribution is important for us to find out ways to help people with musculoskeletal disorders return to work.


Physiotherapists from the MUSK health research group at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University are in charge of this research project.



This is what you have to do if you participate in the study:

Firs we ask you to answer a questionnaire that takes about 20 minutes to fill in. Your answers are anonymous. Only the researchers from OsloMet will have access to them, not anyone from NAV.


After answering the questionnaire you will be randomly assigned to one of three groups:

  • Group 1 will receive usual follow-up from NAV.

  • Group 2 will receive usual follow-up + two extra meetings with a NAV caseworker.

  • Group 3 will receive usual follow-up + work and health related advice from a physiotherapist. This follow-up will be given through one or more phone conversations, and possibly face to face meetings.


If you are assigned to group 2 or 3 a NAV caseworker or a physiotherapist will contact you to make an appointment. You do not have to pay anything for the extra follow-up you receive. If you are assigned to group 1 you will only receive emails with a link to the questionnaire.

  • We will ask you to answer the same questionnaire after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

  • You are free to quit the project at any time, and it will not have any consequences for your sick leave or benefits.



In order to be part of the project you have to fit these criteria:

  • You live in Vestfold, Porsgrunn or Skien.

  • You are on sick leave for 50% or more.

  • You have a job to go back to.

  • You are not self-employed or work freelance.

  • Musculoskeletal problems is the main reason for your sick leave.

  • You do not have any other serious physical or mental illnesses that affect your ability to work.

  • You are not under treatment, which means that you cannot go back to work.

  • You are not pregnant.

  • You speak and read English or Norwegian fluently.



If you fit these criteria and would like more information about the project you can phone or text us on this number: 92025404. Or send an e-mail to:

Alexander Tingulstad:

Fiona Aanesen:

Make sure not to write anything sensitive in the email or text message. You only have to write that you are interested in getting more information about the project and your phone number, and we will call you.


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