The following specific question was addressed: Which relevant factors, according to insurance physicians, should be taken into account during the assessment of the work ability of employees who are on sick leave for 2 years? Methods
We used the Delphi technique, an iterative group process of multi-round questionnaires, with the aim of gaining a consensus from a panel of experts on a particular issue (e.g. Jones and Hunter 1995; Black 2006). Participants The participants were selected from the population of insurance physicians selleck working at the Employee Benefits Insurance Authority (UWV), an organisation that employs the largest number of insurance physicians in the Netherlands. Purposive sampling was employed to recruit experienced insurance physicians from all different geographical regions within the Netherlands. The potential participants were contacted through their work email addresses. Information about the study was sent by email to all IPs working at the organisation 7-Cl-O-Nec1 cost with experience in the assessment of the work ability of employees on long-term
sick leave. Subjects who were eligible for this study included registered insurance physicians with experience in the medical assessment of employees on sick leave for more than 1.5 years. The other eligibility criteria were that physicians were willing to take part in four Delphi rounds and were interested in sharing their views. All potential participants who met the study criteria were invited to enrol themselves by sending an email to the researchers. Our selection criteria aimed to ensure an adequate breadth of expertise and a variety of perspectives on factors related to long-term sick leave and to ensure the availability of the selected people
within the time frame of the study. Eligible subjects received Beta adrenergic receptor kinase written information selleck compound concerning the aims and procedures of the study. Procedure The electronic Delphi method was used to reach an agreement on factors that should be addressed during the assessment of the work ability of employees on long-term sick leave. Before starting the study, a pilot study was performed on a small group of IPs not involved in the Delphi process (n = 5) to ensure that there was common understanding of the questions. The panellists did not know who else was participating in the Delphi study or the answers that the other panellists gave. The study comprised two preliminary rounds and two main rounds. Preliminary rounds The aim of the two preliminary rounds of this study was to collect the input for the main rounds. The panellists achieved consensus on important factors that either hinder or promote RTW by employees on long-term sick leave. These factors were then presented to the panellists during the main rounds.