Background In March 2012, a new project was started in the HUP La Fe, following the pilot project performed in San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Madrid, where patients off work for musculoskeletal causes were referred to us from Primary Care.
Objectives The aim of the study is to analyze the variation in days off work in those individuals included in this program with respect to the normal average of days off.
Methods Cohort, observational, cross-sectional study from April to December 2012, which included patients from the HUP La Fe area, for the first time referred to the Rheumatology Early Intervention consultation because of temporary disability due to musculoskeletal origin. These patients are referred to medical appointment with a maximum waiting time of one week and were provided of medical treatment, ultrasound articular injections and directed exercises if needed. The patient is reviewed continuously until discharge. We excluded patients whose disabilities were traumatic or surgical, or their situation can cause a permanent disability.
Results We included a total of 116 patients with a mean age of 49 years and 58% were women. The most frequently reported diseases were: back pain (34%), neck pain (12%), shoulder pain syndrome (9%) and other tendinopathies (10%). The 44.8% of cases had a history of sick leave. 100% of the patients received medical treatment, 31% underwent articular ultrasound, 25% of them with infiltration and 61% were trained to perform physical therapy exercises at home. The pathology that had a higher average number of days from the first visit to the medical discharge were lumbociatalgia (34 days), neck pain (21 days), painful shoulder syndrome (17 days) and low back pain (14 days). Comparing these data with the population controlled pilot study there is a decrease of the days off, being in the control group lumbociatalgia (57.6 days), neck (37.4 days), back pain (34.5 days) and tendinitis (36.7 days).
Conclusions Preliminary results obtained in our study show that early intervention by rheumatologists in patients with temporary incapacity pathology with musculoskeletal origin decreases the number of days off work, compared to patients treated regularly, and can incorporate to work early and consequently, save all costs resulting from such temporary disability.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared