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J Rehabil Med. 2012 Apr;44(4):370-7. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0956.

Effectiveness of multidisciplinary early rehabilitation in reducing behaviour-related risk factors.

Author information

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation, Turku University Hospital, 20521 Turku, Finland. mikhail.saltychev@gmail.com



To evaluate the effect of a 4-week primary prevention programme on health-risk behaviours amongst employees at increased risk of work incapacity.


Based on survey data and health records from 53,416 public sector employees in Finland, we identified 872 employees who participated in early rehabilitation after the baseline survey. We selected 2,440 propensity-score-matched controls for these rehabilitants. Changes in the prevalence of physical inactivity, obesity, heavy drinking, and smoking, as well as in the intensity of leisure-time physical activity, weight, and alcohol consumption after the intervention were examined between the baseline and two subsequent surveys representing short-term (mean follow-up 1.7 years) and long-term (mean 5.8 years) follow-ups.


There were no statistically significant differences between the rehabilitants and controls in terms of changes in weight, alcohol consumption, intensity of leisure-time physical activity, or prevalence of obesity, heavy drinking and physical inactivity during short-term or long-term follow-ups. During short-term follow-up, a higher rate of smoking cessation was observed for rehabilitants than controls (31.7% vs. 20.2%, p = 0.037).


Vocationally oriented multidisciplinary early rehabilitation had little effect on health risk behaviours.

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