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Clinical Trial Summary

The Norwegian Sickness Absence Clinic (NSAC) Nudge Study is a naturalistic randomized controlled multicentre trial which aim is to measure the efficacy of nudging clinicians' attention towards patients' motivation for work, barriers for return to work and work environment challenges, on functional recovery as primary outcome, and health outcomes as secondary outcome. Patients will be recruited in five different NSACs across northern Norway. In total 800 patients will be randomized to two equal probability treatment arms: 1) NSAC with the nudge, and 2) NSAC without the nudge. The nudge is tailored to the individual patient's needs using survey, and the clinicians are presented with a summary of this patient survey prior to consultations highlighting health problems and challenges as reported by the patient in the survey.


Clinical Trial Description

The NSAC Nudge Study is part of a broader project, the Norwegian Sickness Absence Clinic Study (NSACS). The NSACS has two sources of funding (Northern Norway Regional Health Authority and The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV)), and involves two RCTs (NSAC Nudge and NSAC Efficacy) and fifteen work packages covering aspects of efficacy, interactions in efficacy, scalability, health economics, and characteristics of the target group and the patient group. The randomized controlled trial (RCT) NSAC Nudge is the subject of this trial registration. A list of the associated work-packages (WPs) is available in the protocol attached this registration at a later time point. The NSAC Nudge Study is a randomized controlled multicentre trial, carried out in northern Norway and involving 5 Norwegian Sickness Absence Clinics (NSAC [Helse i Arbeid]). The study will recruit 800 patients, randomized in equal proportions to either of two treatment arms 1) Treatment at the NSAC following a patient survey of health problems and 2) treatment at the NSAC following a patient survey of health problems as well as a survey on motivation for work, barriers for return to work and work environment. The NSACs are staffed by teams of medical doctors specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychologists, physiotherapists and employment support supervisors. The NSAC service aims to provide quick clarification of health problems or treatment to patients with common mental disorders or musculoskeletal health problems with the goals of functional improvement, prevention of long-term sickness absence and return to work. All patients are asked to fill out an online survey about their health and work conditions, motivation for work and barriers for Return to Work (RTW) between time of referral and their first treatment. The survey will also handle randomization. The NSAC clinicians are given a summary to be used in the treatment of the individual patient, and the effect of this comprehensive mapping and the provision of a condensed report to clinician prior to consultation is the primary aim of the RCT. The clinicians will be trained in how providing this information is going to guide clinical practice and using this information in treatment of patients. The data necessary to answer the research questions are gathered from national registries via personal identifier, registry data on population level, questionnaires filled out by the patient (data on health and working conditions) and questionnaires filled out by the clinician after each consultation (data on number of treatments, diagnosis, professions involved and types of treatment provided). The patient questionnaire is divided in two surveys; 1) a health survey and 2) a survey on Motivation for work, Barriers for RTW and Work environment (MBW). The health survey covers health, and includes musculoskeletal problems, mental health and other health related issues (such as alcohol consumption, medication and physical activity). The MBW survey includes working conditions (including inter alia questions on social support, work/family conflict and bullying), barriers for RTW, labour market affiliation, other personal aspects (such as demography and motivation for work), questionnaires for health economic evaluation and expectations for treatment. By and large the questionnaire consists of test batteries which have been validated for specific topics. In an effort to reduce the number of questions posed to each patient, the baseline questionnaire will employ index questions which have proven psychometric properties in terms of factor loading or similar, meaning that if a problem on a specific topic such as neck pain is not indicated, the patient will not be presented with the Neck Disability Index questionnaire. The patient questionnaires will be filled out electronically after referral and prior to first treatment, and at 6- and 12 months after first treatment. In the NSAC Nudge Study, receiving treatment at HiA does not presuppose consent to participate in research, but a mapping of health status is nevertheless a mandatory part of treatment. However, participation in research requires sharing these data and access to registry-based data for the involved patients. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05006976
Study type Interventional
Source Nordlandssykehuset HF
Contact Nils Ab Prestegård Aars, PhD
Phone 41239138
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 6, 2021
Completion date January 2027

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