Spiroergometric and Psychological Measurements to Predict Return to Work After 18 and 36 Months After Medical Rehab (SPIRO)


Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH





Study type


Funder types



NCT03206307 - 3.050

Details and patient eligibility


Can professional performance and the probability of returning to work up to three years after medical rehabilitation be predicted by spiroergometric data (or performance of the cardiovascular system) together with psychological factors (motivation, self-efficacy) as well as physical activity, and their interaction? How are work related and health related factors associated with the The following variables: workload, work satisfaction, personal assessment of the professional future and psychological stress?

Full description

One main aim of medical rehabilitation is to restore ability to work. The goal is to increase health, as well as the performance and functional capacity of the the rehabilitant, in order to improve their occupational ability, as well as social activity and participation.

A number of the psychological and structural factors involved in this are already known. There is less evidence, however, regarding the importance of objectively measured performance and functioning, as well as the relation of these objective measures with subjective factors (i.e., the interaction of cardiovascular performance and physical activity with psychological factors with).

Therefore, this study investigates how rehabilitants can successfully decrease their professional vulnerability, and the importance of spiroergometric and psychological data to predict viability and return to work.

The aim is to improve the theorised variance in predicting the viability and return to work and, based on the results, to make appropriate recommendations to those affected and their social network, rehabilitation facilities, those offering rehabilitation services, employers and physicians.

The following research questions are to be answered with this study:

Can spiroergometric data and psychological mechanisms characterize:

(A) workability and physical activity, (B) self assessment of the professional future, (C) return to working life, (D) ability to deal with occupational burdens (professional capacity)

... 6, 12, 18 and 36 months after medical rehabilitation?

What is the significance of objective data compared to subjective characteristics (such as "higher level goals" in terms of employment), and how are the mediating psychological mechanisms involved?

In rehabilitation patients with degenerative skeletal diseases, a spiroergometry measurement (cardiovascular checkup) was carried out in 2013/2014 (group 1, G1). This study determined the performance of the cardiovascular system and the general "fitness". The patients were also questioned about age, workload, work satisfaction, assessment of the future of the profession and accompanying psychological stress.

A follow-up survey of those who are insured is to be carried out by telephone.

In addition, new patients (group 2, G2) are to be interviewed and spiroergometrically tested, as well as to be interviewed three times over the phone.

This will allow: (1) analyzing the change over time and the cardiovascular capacity beyond psychological factors (motivation, self-efficacy) and physical activity, (2) comparisons with other insured persons.

Data collection after rehabilitation is carried out as a computer-assisted telephone interview, and is conducted after the rehabilitation after 6, 12, 18 (G2) and 36 months (G1).


284 patients




18 to 80 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Degenerative skeletal disease
  • Medical rehabilitation at Montanus-Klinik Bad Schwalbach
  • Insured with the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Oldenburg-Bremen
  • Sufficient knowledge of the German language
  • Telephone or mobile phone connection

Exclusion criteria

  • Insufficient knowledge of the German language
  • No participation in the spiroergometrical measurement

Trial design

284 participants in 2 patient groups

Group 1
Group 1 will be questioned 36 months (in 2017) after their medical rehabilitation which was in 2013/2014.
Group 2
Group 2 has the medical rehabilitation in 2017 and will be questioned at the end of the medical rehabilitation and 6, 12 and 18 months after that

Trial contacts and locations



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