return to work (RTW) and in general timely RTW is associated
with successful RTW. This study aimed to examine whether
patients who consulted an occupational physician (OP) RTWearlier
than patients who did not consult an OP.
Materials and methods: A multi-center prospective cohort study
was performed among TKA patients between 18 to 65 years and
having a paid job. Patients provided information on whether an OP
was consulted or not within three months after TKA and were
compared for time to RTW using Kaplan Meier curves (KM).
Results: One hundred and eighty-two (182) patients were included
with a median age of 59 years [IQR 54-62]; 95 patients were women
(52%). Patient and work-related characteristics did not differ between
patients who consulted an OP or not, except that self-employed patients
consulted anOP less often than employed patients. TKA patients
who consulted an OP did RTW later (median 84 days [IQR 61-115])
than those who did not (median 64 days [IQR 35-118] (KM p¼0.03).
Conclusions: Consulting an OP was not associated with an earlier
RTW. Additional analyses to adjust for confounding and effect
modification are needed to confirm this result.