Returning people with persistent pain to work using Individual Supported Employment placements (ReISE)

  • Project period: 2021 - 2024
  • Category: Shared Cost Project


What is the problem?

Many Norwegians are not able to work because of pain. This is often back, joint, or muscle pain. It can be hard for those affected to get back to work. We know that being in work is good for people’s physical and mental health and that supported employment measures can help people with mental health problems get back into work. But what about pain?


What do we want to find out?

We want to know if a similar approach will help unemployed people with persistent pain get back to work, and how much this might improve their overall health.

We have already done a feasibility study in England where we found that a support package featuring work placements was well received by unemployed people with persistent pain. A full-scale study is now needed to compare this approach with usual Norwegian support to get back to work.


How will we do this?

We will recruit people who have been out of work for at least one month, and who have had pain that has affected their ability to work for more than three months. We will then select one-in-four to be offered supportive employment placements.  Those offered the placements will be chosen randomly by a computer.

For those selected, case managers will assess work ability, identify obstacles to working, provide support and practical advice, match people to a six-week work placement, and help agree a work plan. During the placement, the case manager will support both the individual and the employer, and refer to work-focused health care if necessary.

Three, six, and 12 months after joining we will ask people who were selected, and those who were not selected, to tell us if they are working, how bad their pain is, and report on their overall quality of life.  By doing this we will be able to find out if our support package is worth offering to all those who are unemployed with persistent pain.

ReISE is a collaboration with Manpower, OsloMet, the University of Warwick and the Council for Musculoskeletal Health.


The project is financed by Research Council of Norway (RCN)


  • Robert James Froud

    • Project manager
    • Professor

    Kristiania University College

    Institutt for helse og trening

    Robert James Froud
  • Pål Andre Thorsø Amundsen

    Pål Andre Thorsø Amundsen

    • Research Fellow

    Kristiania University College

    Institutt for helse og trening

    Pål Andre Thorsø Amundsen
  • Jacob Lothe

      Oslo University Hospital

    • Underwood Martin

      • Ira Malmberg-Heimonen

          OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University

        • Margreth Grotle

            OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University