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Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2017 Dec 20;9:71-76. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2017.12.002. eCollection 2018 Mar.

Long title: Protocol for evaluating a Consultation for Suffering at work in French-speaking Switzerland.

Author information

Occupational Medicine Unit, Institute for Work and Health, 2 Route de La Corniche, CH-1066, Epalinges, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Community Psychiatric Service, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), 18 Place Chauderon, CH-1011, Lausanne, Switzerland.
INRS, 60027 54519 Cedex, Rue du Morvan, F-54500, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France.



Psychosocial suffering entails human, social and economic costs. In Switzerland, 34.4% of workers report chronic work-related stress. Our medical Consultation for Suffering at Work aims to preserve-or restore-the patient's capacity to act and make decisions after a diagnosis of work-related psychological suffering; it also aims to help employees get back to or remain at work. Our hypothesis is that the dynamic of the consultation itself and adherence to its medical advice are active factors of these results.


Understand changes in patients' work and health status 12 months after a Consultation for Suffering at Work. Determine the effects of the consultation on health and working status via identified active factors: the consultation dynamic and the ability to adhere to the consultation's advice. Evaluate the consultation's effects qualitatively.

Materials and Methods:

This longitudinal, monocentric study with a quasi-experimental design will include patients consulting between 1 January and 31 December 2018. Changes in patients' work and health status will be analysed using data collected via questionnaires at 0, 3 and 12 months. Qualitative data will be collected via a semi-structured telephone interview 3 months after the consultation. The quantitative part will include 150-170 patients; the qualitative part will include 30.


This exploratory research project will provide a better understanding of issues of work-related psychological suffering and effective strategies to support patients. The absence of a control group and the impossibility of applying a randomised controlled design are constraints on this study.


Consultation evaluation; Mental health; Occupational health; Research protocol

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