Working paper 2015:3 Publicerad 2015-10-01

Rehabilitation of mental illness and chronic pain


This paper exploits a government initiative to analyze the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals with mild or moderate mental illness and multidisciplinary treatment (MDT) for individuals with pain in back and shoulders. We employ a propensity score matching approach to study the effects on sick leave, health care consumption and drug prescriptions. We find that CBT improved health and prevented sick leave for individuals who were not on sick leave when treatment was initiated but had no effect for individuals who were on sick leave when the treatment was initiated. MDT was a failure regardless of the individual’s sick leave status at the time of treatment. MDT increased sick leave while having no long term impact on either health care visits or drug prescriptions.