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Table 3 Overview of categories and subcategories describing the participants’ experiences of their work ability and work situation

From: Return to work a bumpy road: a qualitative study on experiences of work ability and work situation in individuals with chronic whiplash-associated disorders

Category Subcategory
1. Return to work – a process of setbacks and bureaucracy 1.1 The bumpy road to return to work
1.2 Work motivation and confidence in future work ability
1.3 Conforming to social insurance regulations
2. The need to be understood by health care professional, and to receive a treatment plan 2.1 The neck-specific exercise programme – a tool for better work ability
2.2. Being on sick leave – not a stand-alone treatment
3. Individual resources are important for work ability 3.1 Individual strategies to handle work demands
3.2 Planning, prioritizing and recovering in spare time – putting all energy into work
3.3 Emotional and practical support from relatives
4. The consequences of reduced work ability 4.1 Changed self-image and work role
4.2 Poor work ability affects the workplace and the company, and participants’ financial situation
5. Working conditions are important for work ability 5.1 Manager support and workplace adjustments
5.2 Emotional and practical support from colleagues