A process evaluation of a return-to-work intervention to improve Cooperation between Sick-listed employees and their Supervisors (COSS)

N. Stulemeijer - Hoefsmit*, N.P.G. Boumans, I. Houkes, F.J.N. Nijhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Web of Science)


    BACKGROUND: This is a process evaluation of an intervention to improve Cooperation regarding return-to-work (RTW) between sick-listed employees and their supervisors (COSS, which consists of a conversation roadmap, monitoring of cooperation using questionnaires and, if necessary, extra support by an occupational physician (OP).

    OBJECTIVE: Objectives were to study (1) the adoption of COSS by a banking organization and (2) its implementation among individual employees, supervisors and OPs.

    METHODS: We used quantitative data (online questionnaire, project administration, conversation minutes, emails) and qualitative data (semi-structured interviews). We analyzed quantitative data descriptively (by calculating sum scores, percentages, mean scores and standard deviations). The coding system to analyze the qualitative data was data-driven.

    RESULTS: The organization’s representatives reported positively (e.g. fit with existing policy) and negatively (e.g. high intensity) about COSS. At least one OP (out of five) used the monitoring information. Project administration data show a modest reach of COSS among employees and supervisors. The roadmap was used by a minority (35% of the employees and 25% of the supervisors). Relatively many (40% of the employees and 100% of the supervisors who used COSS to evaluate conversations) were satisfied with COSS as a tool to evaluate conversations with the employee/supervisor afterwards. Interview results indicate that the roadmap was considered useful in specific situations (e.g. psychological complaints). All employees and supervisors participated in the monitoring. The majority of the responding employees and supervisors received OP support and was satisfied about this support.

    CONCLUSIONS: Despite the good adoption of COSS by the organisation, it was only partially implemented by professionals, employees and supervisors. We hypothesize that our implementation approach did not fit completely with the culture at the bank. Also, the results illustrate the need for other intervention methods for improving cooperation between employees and supervisors and a more specific target population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)593-603
    Number of pages11
    JournalWORK-A Journal of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'A process evaluation of a return-to-work intervention to improve Cooperation between Sick-listed employees and their Supervisors (COSS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this