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Publication: The MI-NAV RCT - Return to work

Effectiveness of adding motivational interviewing or a stratified vocational advice intervention to usual case management on return to work for people with musculoskeletal disorders: the MI-NAV randomised controlled trial

Published in: Occupational & Environmental Medicine (bmj.com)


In this study, we conducted a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of two return to work interventions for people on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. The interventions were: 1) motivational interviewing, provided by caseworkers from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), or 2) a stratified vocational advice intervention, provided by physiotherapists in primary care.

We included 514 participants in the study. All the participants received usual follow-up for people on sick leave in Norway. Additionally, 169 were offered two sessions of motivational interviewing and 169 were offered vocational advice, tailored according to their risk of long-term sickness absence. The results from the study showed that the participants receiving either motivational interviewing or stratified vocational advice had 7 fewer days of sickness absence during 6 months of follow-up, compared to those who only received usual follow-up. The differences were smaller than anticipated and the results were not statistically significant. Therefore, it is uncertain if the interventions could be effective in reducing sickness absence for people with musculoskeletal disorders in Norway.


You can read more about the trial here:

Effectiveness of adding motivational interviewing or a stratified vocational advice intervention to usual case management on return to work for people with musculoskeletal disorders: the MI-NAV randomised controlled trial | Occupational & Environmental Medicine (bmj.com)



Aanesen F, Grotle M, Rysstad TL, Tveter AT, Tingulstad A, Løchting I, Småstuen MC, van Tulder MW, Berg R, Foster NE, Wynne-Jones G, Sowden G, Fors E, Bagøien G, Hagen R, Storheim K, Øiestad BE. (2022) Effectiveness of adding motivational interviewing or a stratified vocational advice intervention to usual case management on return to work for people with musculoskeletal disorders: the MI-NAV randomised controlled trial. Occup Environ Med. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2022-108637. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36428098.




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