Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2015:22: Rehabilitation of mental illness and chronic pain – the impact on sick leave and health

Pathric Hägglund (), Per Johansson () and Lisa Laun ()
Additional contact information
Pathric Hägglund: Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate (ISF), Postal: Stockholm, Sweden
Per Johansson: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Lisa Laun: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This paper exploits a government initiative to analyze the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals with mild or moderate mental illness and multidisciplinary treatment (MDT) for individuals with pain in back and shoulders. We employ a propensity score matching approach to study the effects on sick leave, health care consumption and drug prescriptions. We find that CBT improved health and prevented sick leave for individuals who were not on sick leave when treatment was initiated but had no effect for individuals who were on sick leave when the treatment was initiated. MDT was a failure regardless of the individual’s sick leave status at the time of treatment. MDT increased sick leave while having no long term impact on either health care visits or drug prescriptions.

Keywords: Mental diseases; chronic pain; sick leave; propensity score matching

JEL-codes: H43; I13; J22

39 pages, October 5, 2015

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