Pilot project to reduce sick leave terms for employees hit by burn-out

Leuven University (KU Leuven) is starting a pilot project in cooperation with the association of GP's Domus Medica to provide a better counselling for those touched by a burn-out at work. The aim is to get them back into work in a shorter span of time than is now the case.

Employees suffering from a burn-out often don't know this in a first phase. They go to the doctor's with complaints linked to a burn-out, like sleeping problems, back pains, headache, stomach problems etc. For doctors, it's not always easy to make the right diagnosis. As they need to examine the physical problems, time can be lost sometimes. 

A second problem is how to guide and counsel the patients, and to get a link with his or her job. A mediator would be a good idea, it is said. This is where this pilot project comes in. Experts believe it can help to get patients back into work faster. This is good for the patient, it is argued, because the more time is lost or the longer an employee is absent, the more difficult to pick up the old job. 

The project will not only examine how patients can receive better counselling, but also how a good link can be established with the job content and the company. Professor Lode Godderis: "We will not only look at the individual, but also at the workplace. What exactly caused the burn-out? And we will also tackle hurdles which make it difficult to return back to work." The psychologist in question, will be in touch with the company doctor.

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