To investigate which ethical considerations play a role in the assessment of absenteeism due to sickness and of disability, and how these are dealt with. Qualitative, exploratory study. We conducted interviews with 32 individual professional practitioners: 8 occupational health physicians, 8 insurance company physicians, 8 general practitioners, and 8 psychologists, with the aid of a semi-structured questionnaire. During the interview we differentiated between 4 clusters of questions referring to the ethical, legal, interdisciplinary, and professional context, respectively. The study revealed only the spectrum of ethical considerations that played a role, and not the representativeness. For this reason the results did not allow for quantitative conclusions. Differences in the manner of thinking and behaving between health-care providers stem from differences in ethical considerations and in background beliefs. These differences hinder effective cooperation within the occupational health sector. To improve professional performance and to achieve more responsible decision-making those involved need to be aware of their ethical considerations and background beliefs and to make them explicit, possibly with the aid of a checklist.
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Den Besten, I. E., Nauta, N., Faas, W. A., Weel, A. N. H., Zwart, K., & Hilhorst, M. (2011). [Interdisciplinary cooperation in occupational health: ethical friction]. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 155. Retrieved from