Purpose To study the longitudinal relationship between interdisciplinary vocational rehabilitation (VR) with and without additional work module on work participation of patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain and sick leave from work. Methods Retrospective longitudinal data retrieved from care as usual in seven VR centers in the Netherlands was used. The VR program without work module consisted of multi-component healthcare (physical exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, education, relaxation). The other program with additional work module (VR+) included case management and a workplace visit. Generalized estimating equations using binary logistic was applied. The dependent variable was work participation (achieved/not achieved) on discharge and 6-months follow-up. Independent variables were type of intervention, return to work expectation, sick leave duration, working status, job strain, and job dissatisfaction. Results Data from N = 470 patients were analyzed, of which 26% received VR and 74% VR+. Both programs increased work participation at 6-months follow-up (VR 86%, VR+ 87%). The crude model showed a significant longitudinal relationship between type of intervention and work participation in favor of VR+ (OR 1.8, p = 0.01). The final model showed a non-significant relationship on discharge (OR 1.3, p = 0.51) and a significant relationship on 6-months follow-up in favor of VR+ (OR 1.7, p = 0.04). RTW expectation was a significant confounder in the final model on discharge and 6-months follow up (OR 3.1, p = 0.00). Conclusions Both programs led to increased work participation. The addition of a work module to the VR program lead to a significant increase in odds of work participation at 6-months follow-up.