Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Rise logo2


Return to work with Individualised Supported Employment (RISE)

Chief Investigator: Dr Rob Froud

Sponsor: University of Warwick

Funder: Arthritis Research UK

Registration Number: As this is a feasibility study, there is no registration.


People with chronic pain value work. For many, a job helps inform self-identity. Helping sick and disabled people back to work is known to improve health outcomes, reduce poverty, and improve quality of life and well-being. Individual placement support (IPS) helps people with mental health problems to gain and retain employment. By adapting the principles of IPS, we have created a supported work placement package that could be suitable for people with chronic pain, who may need help in overcoming obstacles to return-to-work.

Phase I: Systematic review of IPS studies.

To review the literature of IPS interventions to explore the structure of previously used IPS interventions, explore whether optimum components can be identified, and identify what outcome measures have been used in IPS trials.

Phase II: Meta-synthesis and qualitative interviews

We will carry out a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies to explore the obstacles and enablers of return-to-work. In addition, semi-structured interviews will be carried with participants experiencing chronic pain (up to15 interviews) and employers (up to 15 interviews).

Phase III: Intervention - Supported work placements and Process Evaluation

We will recruit 30 people (participants) who are off-work because of chornic pain, but who want to return to work. We will recruit from the Job Shop in Coventry, University Hospitals Coventry, Warwick Hospital and Solihull Hospital. We also are using self-referral posters to recruit participants. These are being put up in libraries, careers services, GP surgery waiting rooms for example. We will give participants a work placement within our partner organisations; University Hospitals Birmingham, Coventry City Council and Serco Ltd. We will support participants and their placement manager throughout.

We will explore the feasibility of delivering the intervention, and explore quality of life and return-to-work. Each placement will last for 6 weeks and participants of the SWP will be sent questionnaires at 6 weeks, 14 weeks and 6 months. Following the work placements, we will conduct focus groups and interviews with participants and employers as part of the process evaluation.

Sample size:

To explore feasibility, we will be developing and delivering a package of support to 30 people (the intervention). To help with the development of the supported work package and further understand the obstacles to return to work, we will also carry out 15 employer interviews and 15 interviews with participant that have chronic pain.

Primary outcome:

To explore the feasibility of developing and delivering a package of support to 30 people.

We will be exploring the best outcome measures to use as part of our feasibility study. However, we anticipate that either change in Quality of Life, or Return-to-work, will be the primary outcome.


The study will run until 30 April 2019.



Please contact the RISE study office: