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Incapacité et retour au travail

Mars 2024

Purpose Previous research has systematically studied the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based interventions in managing both mental and physical symptoms of chronic disease including depression, stress-related mental disorders (SMD), and chronic pain that are common causes of sick leave. However, a systematic review focusing on the effectiveness of CBT in facilitating RTW is lacking. This study compiles research on utilizing CBT-based interventions for helping employees on sick leave return to work. Methods Randomized controlled trials (RCT) published between 1 January 1990 and 27 June 2022 were searched in MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Scopus, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and PubMed. The primary outcome variables included a return to work (RTW) measure and sickness absences. The secondary outcomes include psychological conditions (mental illness, stress, anxiety, and depression) and physical condition (working ability, fatigue, and physical function). Results Thirty-four RCTs were included in the analysis. Fifteen RCTs with 1727 participants reported on sick leave. Results showed that participants who completed CBT intervention had reduced sick leave in days (mean reduction - 3.654; 95%CI - 5.253, - 2.046; p < 0.001) compared to the control group. Sixteen papers with 2298 participants reported that the intervention group RTW 1.5 days earlier (95%CI 1.019, 1.722; p < 0.05). CBT-based interventions were effective in managing fatigue, mental illness, and depression, and improving physical function while it showed no effects in managing stress, anxiety and working ability. Conclusions The findings indicate that CBT-based interventions are effective in reducing the length of sick leave and facilitating the RTW of employees in the intervention group.

© Xu H; Cai J; Sawhney R; Jiang S; Buys N; Sun J. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 34(1):4-36, 2024 Mar.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to develop a question prompt list (QPL) to support patients undergoing work-related medical rehabilitation in obtaining relevant information and to explore how patients and physicians rate the QPL regarding its usefulness, practicability, and perceived (additional) effort. Methods An initial item pool was assessed by rehabilitation patients (N = 3) in cognitive interviews, rated by physicians and other health professionals (N = 11), and then further modified. The final QPL version (16 items) was used by patients (N = 36) in medical admission interviews in an inpatient medical rehabilitation facility and then evaluated. Physicians evaluated the QPL after each interview with a study participant (N = 6; k = 39 interviews). Results The QPL was used by 50% of patients who rated its usefulness and comprehensibility positively. Neither the need for information nor satisfaction with the information received was correlated with QPL use. The physicians' assessment showed a positive evaluation regarding the provision of information and structuring of the conversation, but also a higher perceived time expenditure. Conclusion While initial testing of the QPL in work-related medical rehabilitation as a tool to support patient-provider communication generally showed a favorable evaluation by patients using it and physicians, future research should address its validity and effectiveness.

© Lukasczik M; Wolf HD; Vogel H. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 5:1266065, 2024.

Purpose Considering current labour shortages, the recent increase in the number of aging workers in the labour market is deemed economically beneficial. However, due to specific characteristics (e.g. biological, generational), aging workers take longer to recover and return to work after an occupational injury. Yet, few studies have examined the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of aging workers and current knowledge makes it difficult for stakeholders to identify which interventions to use with this specific population. This study aimed to describe which interventions are used in the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of aging workers having suffered an occupational injury. Methods We conducted a five-step scoping review. Five databases were used for the literature search. A qualitative analysis of the retained manuscripts was conducted. Results Our analysis led to the extraction of information from seven manuscripts that concern the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of aging workers who suffered an occupational injury exclusively. We identified 19 interventions (e.g. work capacity development, work task modifications, permanent part-time work, and alternative roles) and were described according to the different phases of the Cycle of Work Disability Prevention (CWDP). Conclusions This study offers informative, non-prescriptive, and operational interventions useful for stakeholders who support aging workers. Furthermore, it is a knowledge base to develop future projects that promote the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of aging workers.

© Audet J; Lecours A. Work. 2024 Mar 01.

Purpose There is need for more knowledge about the relationship between work and cognitive functioning in sick-listed individuals. This study investigated whether the degree of work participation is relevant for recovery of cognitive functioning in sick-listed individuals. Methods 177 occupational rehabilitation participants and 70 controls participated in a non-randomised, longitudinal study. Participants completed computerised cognitive tests targeting sustained attention and working memory at start and end of rehabilitation and 3 and 12 months after rehabilitation. The change score performance in attention and memory between start and end, start and 3 months and 12 months was compared in individuals on sick leave 100-75%, 74-40% and 39-0% (three sick leave groups) of the time in the year after rehabilitation, and a control group not being on sick leave. Fixed effect analysis of covariance adjusting for education and work ability was used. Results The sick leave group 100-75% had significantly lower score on work ability compared to the other groups at baseline. The main findings indicated that the sick leave group 39-0% improved significantly more in sustained attention compared to the sick leave group 100-75% between start and end of rehabilitation and from start of rehabilitation to 3 and 12 months after. Conclusion The degree of work participation seems relevant to recovery of the cognitive function sustained attention in sick-listed individuals. These findings encourage work rehabilitation clinicians, work consultants and employers to develop RTW plans which take into account that graded employment influence cognitive functioning.

© Johansen T; Oyeflaten I; Eriksen HR; Lyby PS; Dittrich WH; Holsen I; Jakobsen H; Jensen C. Work. 77(3):949-961, 2024.

Purpose There are a wide range of interventions that are designed to influence employer behaviour with respect to the employment of people with disabilities. This study presents the results of a systematic review looking at employer-focused interventions to improve disability employment, focusing on interventions or policies taking placing in high-income countries as per the OECD. Methods This systematic review focuses on a broad range of potential employment-related outcomes, including the employment rate, time to return to work and length of sickness absence. The results of 71 papers that evaluate the effectiveness of a range of interventions were synthesised into a narrative review. Results Interventions are grouped into six broad categories: anti-discrimination legislation, quota systems, part-time sick leave, graded return to work and wage subsidy schemes. Anti-discrimination legislation is not effective at improving the employment prospects of people with disabilities. There is mixed evidence with respect to quota systems and wage subsidy schemes. However, the availability of part time sick leave or graded return to work are both consistently associated with improved work participation for people with disabilities.

© Derbyshire DW; Jeanes E; Khedmati Morasae E; Reh S; Rogers M. Social Science & Medicine. 347:116742, 2024 Mar 08.

Purpose In 2019, an initiative to reduce sickness absence in public sector workplaces in Denmark was introduced. The initiative involved appointing a sickness absence coordinator (SA coordinator) to oversee the implementation of workplace-based sickness absence interventions. Since the role of the SA coordinator is a novel concept introduced as part of the initiative, this study investigates the responsibilities of SA coordinators and the challenges they experienced in fulfilling this role during the implementation process. Methods Semi-structured interviews with and observations of SA coordinators from four public sector workplaces were carried out. We collected the first four interviews and observations during the implementation process with follow-up interviews collected at the end of the process. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results The SA coordinators all experienced challenges in terms of lack of commitment among the line managers to participate in the intervention. They experienced being seen as a burden rather than a helping hand, and felt that the line managers might have difficulty recognizing the value of the SA coordinators. Potential ways to improve the collaboration between the SA coordinators and the line managers include considering hiring the SA coordinator in-house and incorporation of intervention components into existing activities to accommodate the busyness of the line managers. Conclusions To support the SA coordinators in carrying out their role and responsibilities, this study suggests that it is important to ensure commitment to the role, especially among the line managers in order to enhance good working relationships.

© Rasmussen L; Nielsen MBD; Garde AH; Kristiansen J, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2024 Mar 22

Février 2024

Purpose The aim of this study was to synthesize the findings of qualitative meta-syntheses (QMS) on return to work (RTW) of people with different chronic illnesses and to develop a generic RTW model that can provide advice on how to improve RTW interventions and strategies. Methods We conducted a systematic literature search in PubMed, Epistemonikos, CENTRAL, and PsycARTICLES to find relevant QMS, published in English or German between 2000 and 2021, and adapted the meta-ethnographic approach of Noblit and Hare to synthesize their findings. Results Nineteen QMS (five focusing on musculoskeletal disorders or chronic pain, four on acquired or traumatic brain injuries, four on cancer, two on mental disorders, one on spinal cord injury, and three on mixed samples) met our inclusion criteria for the meta-ethnographic synthesis. Through systematic comparison and reciprocal translation of the single QMS findings, we could identify a set of key cross-cutting themes/concepts, which formed the basis for four RTW principles and a generic RTW model. Conclusions RTW is a multifactorial and highly interactive multistakeholder process, embedded in an individual's life and working history, as well as in a determined social and societal context. It runs parallel and interdependently to the process of coping with the disease and realigning one's own identity, thus emphasizing the significance of RTW for the person. Besides symptoms and consequences of the disease, individual coping strategies, and RTW motivation, the course and success of RTW are strongly affected by the adaptability of the person's working environment and the social support in their private and working life. Thus, RTW is not only a problem of the individual, but also a matter of the social environment, especially the workplace, requiring a holistic, person-centered, and systemic approach, coordinated by a designated body, which considers the interests of all actors involved in the RTW process.

© Schwarz B; Banaschak H; Heyme R; von Kardorff E; Reims N; Streibelt M; Bethge M.  Rehabilitation. 63(1):39-50, 2024 Feb.

Purpose Despite the significant economic impact of occupational injuries on companies and society, studies focused on analyzing the determinants of workdays lost due to sick leave remain scarce and incomplete. This paper contributes to this issue by (a) analyzing the drivers of sick leave duration, distinguishing factors that explain the health recovery time from those that could lead workers to a voluntary extension of the absence period, and (b) formulating and empirically testing the effect of gender, citizenship, temporary work, job tenure, amount of disability benefit, and size of the injured worker's firm on the number of days the employee is off work after the injury. Methods Hypotheses are tested on a comprehensive dataset that includes all nonfatal occupational injuries causing sick leave that occurred in the manufacturing sector in Spain during 2015-2019, with more than 400,000 injuries. We conduct ordinary least squares and count data regression models in which the number of days off work is regressed on employees and work characteristics while accounting for a set of variables to control the injury's nature and severity. Results The results show that after considering the intrinsic characteristics of the injury and the severity of the worker's injuries, women, native workers, workers with more seniority, workers with higher salaries, and those working in larger companies have longer periods of sick leave. The results suggest that moral hazard considerations significantly impact the time to return to work after an occupational injury. Conclusions Based on the findings, several insights for company managers and public decision-makers are discussed. Specifically, interventions aimed at improving the organization of work and the working conditions of workers in manufacturing industries are highlighted, as well as the need to improve control and supervision mechanisms during the recovery process of injured workers.

© Arocena P; Garcia-Carrizosa LM. Journal of Safety Research. 86:311-317, 2023 09.

Purpose Due to the Belgian health insurance system's controlling nature, work-disabled claimants can feel forced to return to work (RTW), increasing their risk of relapse. RTW out of interest or importance is considered more sustainable. Such autonomous motivation for RTW can be promoted through 'motivational counselling', an integration of self-determination theory and motivational interviewing. To adopt this, health insurance practitioners need training, which can be designed through intervention mapping as an evidence-based planning tool. This paper reports on the development of a motivational counselling training for health insurance practitioners. Methods Intervention mapping's six steps guided the formulation of programme goals and learning outcomes, matching the context. We then identified change methods which were translated into practical components. Together with the health insurances' input, this resulted in a concrete training programme with an implementation and evaluation plan. Results The training was designed to increase practitioners' knowledge, skills, and beliefs relevant for learning motivational counselling, which also requires solution-focused strategies. Methods like guided practice were translated into built-in exercises, feedback, and information, which were implemented through an online training format of five sessions including one follow-up. Conclusion Reporting about training development increases understanding of its effectiveness and implementation, which will be evaluated via pre- and post-training data collection amongst practitioners. Future trainings can benefit from this by accounting for health insurances' organizational barriers or building on the training's evidence-based backbone whilst only requiring specific adaptations for other stakeholders and contexts. Further research should evaluate motivational counselling's impact on claimants' RTW trajectories.

© Rymenans I; Van den Broeck A; Vanovenberghe C; Du Bois M; Lauwerier E, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2024 Feb 26.

Janvier 2024

Purpose Studies suggest that symptom reduction is not necessary for improved return-to-work after occupational rehabilitation programmes. This secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial examined whether pain intensity and mental distress mediate the effect of an inpatient programme on sustainable return-to-work. Methods The randomized controlled trial compared inpatient multimodal occupational rehabilitation (n = 82) with outpatient acceptance and commitment therapy (n = 79) in patients sick-listed due to musculoskeletal and mental health complaints. Pain and mental distress were measured at the end of each programme, and patients were followed up on sick-leave for 12 months. Cox regression with an inverse odds weighted approach was used to assess causal mediation. Results The total effect on return-to-work was in favour of the inpatient programme compared with the control (hazard ratio (HR) 1.96; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.15-3.35). There was no evidence of mediation by pain intensity (indirect effect HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.61-1.57, direct effect HR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.02-3.90), but mental distress had a weak suppression effect (indirect effect HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.59-1.36, direct effect HR, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.13-4.26). Conclusion These data suggest that symptom reduction is not necessary for sustainable return-to-work after an inpatient multimodal occupational rehabilitation intervention.

© Aasdahl L; Nilsen TIL; Mork PJ; Fimland MS; Skarpsno ES. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 56:jrm18385, 2024 Jan 12.

Purpose This paper describes how Canadian Return to Work coordinators (RTWC) framed their job roles relative to workers in ways that went beyond the usual professional norms of helping worker recovery. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 47 RTWCs across Canada in 2018-2019. We used critical discourse analysis to analyze the way coordinators viewed workers in the complex, multi-stakeholder system of RTW. Results We identified four ways that RTWCs positioned themselves relative to workers: as trust builders, experts, detectives and motivators. These roles reflected RTWCs position within the system; however, their discourse also contributed to the construction of a moral hierarchy that valued worker motivation and framed some workers as attempting to exploit the RTW system. Conclusions RTWCs' positions of power in the coordination process warrant further investigation of how they exercise judgement and discretion, particularly when the process depends on their ability to weigh evidence and manage cases in what might be seen as an objective and fair manner.

© Hopwood P; MacEachen E; Crouch M; Neiterman E; McKnight E; Malachowski C. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2024 Jan 24.

Purpose The challenges of returning to work after sickness absence demands a wide conceptual understanding of what hinders the employee's work participation. Thus, there is a need to know more about self-perceived barriers for Return to Work (RTW). This study aimed to investigate RTW barriers experienced by employees on long-term sick leave, through the lens of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). Methods The study was a large-scale qualitative interview study (n = 85) using semi-structured telephone interviews. Eligible participants had received sick leave benefits for between 6 months and 1.5 years. The data were analysed with quantitative and qualitative content analysis. A deductive approach using the MOHO concepts guided the analysis process. Results The study generated 941 coded meaning units describing barriers for RTW, of which we were able to code 895 within the framework of MOHO. In the person-specific concepts, performance capacity barriers were most often described (n = 303), followed by volitional barriers (n = 165) and barriers related to habituation (n = 66). Barriers related to the environmental components amounted to 361. Barriers in the occupational environment was dominant (n = 214). Conclusion Experienced barriers related to both environmental components and person-specific concepts.

© Stromstad K; Skarpaas LS; Haslerud SI; Alve YA; Sandqvist J; Aas RW. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 31(1):2297732, 2024 Jan.

Purpose Using simulation methods that replicate specific job demands can accelerate return-to-work following an illness or injury. However, the components of simulation vary markedly. The current study explores the perceptions and experiences of service users to better understand what aspects are required to facilitate a well-designed, work-specific simulation. Methods Thirteen injured workers (10 men, 3 women) and four staff (3 allied health, 1 manager) involved in a simulation-based rehabilitation program were interviewed. Interview data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results Three major themes resulted: 1) simulation can facilitate successful rehabilitation, 2) the importance of offering multiple, realistic simulations to replicate varying occupations, and 3) effective simulation involves collaboration with a worker’s existing health professionals. Conclusion Simulation tasks can be effectively integrated into injury rehabilitation, although are challenging to implement and require further validation studies. The present findings may provide some guidance for rehabilitation services looking to implement this method within a broader, biopsychosocial return-to-work program.

© Dorstyn D; Oxlad M; Whitburn S; Fedoric B; Roberts R; Chur-Hansen A. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Jan2024, p1-9.

Décembre 2023

Purpose There is limited knowledge regarding the impact of rehabilitation on work ability. The aim of this study was to explore factors associated with work ability 12 months following a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program in a cohort with different diagnoses. Methods Of 9108 potentially eligible participants for the RehabNytte research project, 3731 were eligible for the present study, and 2649 participants (mean age 48.6 years, 71% female) consented to contribute with work-related data, and were included. Self-perceived work ability was assessed by the Work Ability Score (WAS) (0-10, 10 = best), during the follow-up period using paired t-tests and logistic regression to examine associations between demographic and disease-related factors and work ability at 12-month follow-up. Results The mean baseline WAS for the total cohort was 3.53 (SD 2.97), and increased significantly to 4.59 (SD 3.31) at 12-month follow-up. High work ability (WAS >= 8) at 12 months was associated with high self-perceived health at the baseline (OR 3.83, 95% CI 2.45, 5.96), while low work ability was associated with a higher number of comorbidities (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.11, 0.61), medium pain intensity (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.38, 0.83) and being married or cohabiting (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.43, 0.88). There were no significant differences in work ability between participants receiving occupational and standard rehabilitation. Conclusions Work ability increased significantly over the follow-up period. High work ability at 12-month follow-up was associated with high self-perceived health at baseline, while being married or cohabiting, having higher number of comorbidities, and experiencing medium baseline pain intensity was associated with lower work ability. Rehabilitation interventions targeting these factors may potentially enhance work ability, leading to a positive impact on work participation among people in need of rehabilitation.

© Skinnes MN; Moe RH; Johansen T; Lyby PS; Dahl K; Eid I; Fagertun TC; Habberstad A; Johnsen TJ; Kjeken I; Klokkerud M; Linge AD; Lyken AD; Orpana A; Rajalahti T; Wilkie R; Uhlig T; On Behalf Of The RehabNytte Consortium. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 12(23), 2023 Nov 29.

Octobre 2023

Purpose The workplace accommodation process is often affected by ineffective and inefficient communications and information exchanges among disabled employees and other stakeholders. Information systems (IS) can play a key role in facilitating a more effective and efficient accommodation process since IS has been shown to facilitate business processes and effect positive organizational changes. Since there is little to no research that exists on IS use to facilitate the workplace accommodation process, this paper, as a critical first step, examines how IS have been used in the accommodation process. Methods Thirty-six interviews were conducted with disabled employees from various organizations. Open, axial, and selective coding were part of the analysis. Fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis was used to identify different levels of IS use based on participants' descriptions. Results An IS used in the workplace accommodation process consists of electronic request form, accommodation checklist, special budget, specific role, ancillary service, formal policy and procedure. There are different levels of IS use in the current accommodation process. The high-level IS use often results in a better accommodation performance than the low-level IS use, including high efficiency, high effectiveness, and low emotional tolls. Nevertheless, the high-level IS use often uses a specific, inflexible template as well as disregards human elements in the  accommodation process. Conclusion This work provides implications that future IS design should raise awareness of disability and accommodation, account for individual differences, involve multiple stakeholder inputs, as well as address the fundamental social issues in the accommodation process.

© Cao S. Work.  2023 Sep 30.

Purpose Inpatient rehabilitation is common in Germany to improve return-to-work outcomes. The objective of this systematic scoping review was to identify factors associated with return-to-work outcomes in musculoskeletal, psychological and oncological health conditions to improve tailoring of rehabilitation therapies. Methods A search was completed in Embase, Medline, PsycInfo and AMED until May 2023 for articles investigating inpatient rehabilitation including working-age patients with oncological, musculoskeletal, or psychological diseases using a quantitative design and reporting factors associated with return-to-work outcomes. Screening of all titles and abstracts was completed by one reviewer, full texts were read by two reviewers. Quality appraisal and data extraction was completed by two reviewers. Data was analysed using a narrative synthesis. Results Eighteen studies of moderate quality were included. The review identified a wide range of return-to-work parameters including employment status, work ability, sickness absence, retirement status and duration of employment since rehabilitation. In addition, 48 psychological, health- and work-related factors associated with return-to-work parameters were identified. Only one RCT investigated the relationship between a depression prevention intervention and a return-to-work outcome (work ability), which showed a significant effect. Conclusion In addition to the depression prevention intervention, only the factor 'health literacy' could be considered modifiable and be addressed as part of an inpatient rehabilitation programme. Furthermore, gradual work reintegration programs and/or workplace interventions in addition to inpatient rehabilitation should be further explored to improve return-to-work outcomes.

© Fohner K; Seipp H; Becker A; Maulbecker-Armstrong C; Schneider A; Seifart U; van der Wardt V.  Psychology Health & Medicine. 1-25, 2023 Oct 12.

Purpose To investigate the causal effect of sense of coherence on long-term work participation after rehabilitation, including stratification by age and diagnoses. Methods Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Participants: Patients aged ≤ 60 years, employed and accepted for somatic interprofessional rehabilitation in 2015 (n = 192). Data collection & analysis: Patients reported sense of coherence before rehabilitation in 2015 and mental and physical functioning in 2016. Register data were used to measure work participation during 2018 and days working without social security benefits during 2016-18. Regression models were used to explore the total effect of sense of coherence and the possible mediation of functioning. Results are reported as odds ratios (95% confidence intervals). Results During 2018, 77% of the total study cohort participated in work activities. The subgroup with musculoskeletal diagnoses had the fewest days of working without social security benefits. A causal relationship was found between sense of coherence and long-term work participation. Some of the effect of sense of coherence was mediated by mental functioning. The total effect of sense of coherence was strongest for patients with musculo-skeletal diagnoses (work participation: 1.11 (1.05, 1.17), days working without social security benefits: 1.05 (0.01, 109)). Conclusion Improving coping resources may be beneficial to facilitate long-term work participation after injury or illness, especially for individuals with musculoskeletal diagnoses.

© Berget AM; Moen VP; Hustoft M; Assmus J; Strand LI; Skouen JS; Hetlevik Ø, Journal of rehabilitation medicine, 2023 Oct 19; Vol. 55, pp. jrm11982

Purpose Musculoskeletal and mental health complaints are common in the general population and frequent reasons for healthcare utilization and work absence. Illness perceptions, coping expectancies, rumination and self-stigma are important factors in the management of these health complaints and factors closely linked to health literacy (HL). The aims of the study were to identify helpful elements in a brief intervention (BI) targeting HL regarding common musculoskeletal and mental health complaints and to identify patient perceptions of how the intervention was helpful and whether it affected their subsequent coping. Methods Three focus group interviews with 14 patients were conducted. Systematic text condensation was used for the analysis, supported by the health literacy skill (HLS) framework to sharpen the focus on intervention elements related to the acquisition and utilization of HLSs. Results Results revealed the importance of receiving comprehensible health information and guidance, the use of metaphors to create recognizable narratives and the use of practical examples and exercises. Normalizing the experienced health complaints, together with a safe and accommodating clinical environment, facilitated the change process. Conclusion The BI initiated processes that contributed to acceptance, resilience and empowerment, aiding work–life balance and return to work. The study presents authentic narratives of value for future focus in BI.

© Johnsen TL; Tveito TH; Øyeflaten I. Health Promotion International, Oct2023; 38(5): 1-12.

Purpose Our process evaluation (trial registration: DRKS00022468) monitored the implementation of a multi-component strategy including case management aiming to improve rehabilitation coverage and work participation of people with a high risk of permanent work disability. Methods A risk score using administrative data, particularly on employment and welfare benefits, was employed to identify individuals with higher probability of receiving disability pension and therefore potentially needing support. These individuals were contacted by post and encouraged to phone their regional case manager if they needed assistance. Content for the intervention components was developed collaboratively with the case managers. We examined the sample reached, dose delivered, fidelity, dose received and satisfaction with the intervention. Results Out of 1074 individuals with high-risk scores were contacted, there were 57 case managements. The participants reached were in poor health, and 42.1% reported at least four diagnosed conditions, mostly musculoskeletal and mental disorders. About two-thirds (63.0%) reported poor work ability at baseline. On average, 72.5% of the content of the initial telephone contacts, 88.7% of the content of the face-to-face interviews and 45.2% of the content of the case management were delivered. The participants were highly satisfied with the various components and content of the intervention. Knowledge about rehabilitation improved significantly, with 43 of the 57 participants (75.4%) applying for rehabilitation, mainly medical rehabilitation. At the end of the case management intervention, most participants (91.7%) were still employed. Conclusion The risk score offers an opportunity to screen for people with a high risk of permanent work disability. Case management participants found participation worthwhile and were significantly better informed about participation services after completing case management. More than every second participant received medical or vocational rehabilitation.

© Remus L; Grope M; Lemke S; Bethge M, Die Rehabilitation, 2023 Oct 27

Septembre 2023

Purpose Police officers and others working in police services are exposed to challenging and traumatic situations that can result in physical and/or psychological injuries requiring time off work. Safely returning to work post-injury is critical, yet little is known about current return-to-work (RTW) practices in police services. This study examines RTW practices and experiences in police services from the perspective of RTW personnel and workers with physical and/or psychological health conditions. Methods We used a purposive sampling approach to recruit sworn and civilian members from several police services in Ontario, Canada. The recruited members had experienced RTW either as a person in a RTW support role or as a worker with a work-related injury/illness. We conducted and transcribed interviews for analysis and used qualitative research methods to identify themes in the data. Results Five overarching themes emerged. Two pointed to the context and culture of police services and included matters related to RTW processes, injury/illness complexity, the hierarchical nature of police organizations, and a culture of stoicism and stigma. The remaining three themes pointed to the RTW processes of accommodation, communication and trust-building. They included issues related to recovery from injury/illness, meaningful accommodation, timely and clear communication, malingering and trust. Conclusions Our findings point to potential areas for improving RTW practices in police services: greater flexibility, more clarity, stricter confidentiality and reduced stigma. More research is needed on RTW practices for managing psychological injuries to help inform policy and practice.

© Van Eerd D; Le Pouesard M; Yanar B; Irvin E; Gignac MAM; Jetha A; Morose T; Tompa E.  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2023 Sep 21.

Purpose Return-to-work coordinators (RTWCs) give people on sick leave individualized support and coordinate between different stakeholders, including physicians. The aim of this study was to explore physicians’ experience of RTWCs and investigate factors that influence how much physicians collaborate with RTWCs, or refer patients to them, in primary, orthopaedic, and psychiatric care clinics. Methods Of the 1229 physicians responding to a questionnaire, 629 physicians who had access to a RTWC in their clinic answered to questions about collaborating with RTWCs. Results Among physicians who had access to a RTWC, 29.0% collaborated with a RTWC at least once a week. Physicians with a more favourable experience of RTWCs reported more frequent collaboration (adjusted OR 2.92, 95% CI 2.06–4.15). Physicians also collaborated more often with RTWCs if they reported to often deal with problematic sick-leave cases, patients with multiple diagnoses affecting work ability, and conflicts with patients over sickness certification. Conclusions Physicians who had more problematic sick-leave cases to handle and a favourable experience of RTWCs, also reported collaborating more often with RTWCs. The results indicate that RTWCs’ facilitation of contacts with RTW stakeholders and improvements in the sickness certification process may be of importance for physicians. Implications for Rehabilitation: This study of physicians’ experience of collaborating with return-to-work coordinators (RTWCs) observes that physicians reported more collaboration with or referrals to coordinators if they had a favourable experience of coordinators. The results indicate that physicians report more collaboration with or referrals to RTWCs if they had more problematic sick-leave cases to handle in the clinic. These findings imply that it might be possible to increase the collaboration between physicians and RTWCs in clinical settings by managing factors of importance. This study of physicians’ experience of collaborating with return-to-work coordinators (RTWCs) observes that physicians reported more collaboration with or referrals to coordinators if they had a favourable experience of coordinators. The results indicate that physicians report more collaboration with or referrals to RTWCs if they had more problematic sick-leave cases to handle in the clinic. These findings imply that it might be possible to increase the collaboration between physicians and RTWCs in clinical settings by managing factors of importance.

© Berglund E; Friberg E; Engblom M; Svärd V. Disability & Rehabilitation. Sep2023, p1-9.

Purpose Although workplace injury rehabilitation is a significant economic and social burden for injured workers and the community, it remains inconclusive whether the worker’s choice of provider and treatment type influences these costs or the outcome of rehabilitation. This study explored what choices injured workers could access during rehabilitation in terms of their provider and treatment, what hindered or helped their choice, and whether workers perceived that choice influenced the outcome of their rehabilitation. Methods A mixed methods study was employed, utilising an online survey and semi-structured telephone interviews. Results Injured workers reported that being able to choose their provider and treatment was not straightforward. Obstacles included systemic rigidity, poor relationships between stakeholders, and unfamiliarity with the system. Most survey respondents perceived that the degree of choice they had in their treatment influenced the outcome of their rehabilitation and sometimes also their occupational bond, career, and finances. Conclusions The study found that choice of provider and treatment type does matter for workers undergoing rehabilitation, impacting on outcomes including occupational bond, income, and disputes. In balancing the need for cost containment with social responsibility, both financial and psychosocial outcomes are relevant for those engaged in rehabilitation of injured workers.

© Anderson O; McLennan V; Randall C. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Sep2023, p1-9.

Août 2023

Purpose There is a lack of knowledge about interprofessional rehabilitation for culturally diverse patients with chronic pain. This study explores experiences of healthcare professionals developing and working with rehabilitation with patients in need of an interpreter and their experience of working with interpreters. Methods Twelve healthcare professionals at two Swedish specialist rehabilitation centres were interviewed. Grounded theory principles were used for the data collection and analysis. Results The main category "Demanding and Meaningful Work" represents three concurrently interacting categories: "Frustration" includes the informants' doubts regarding the benefits of the rehabilitation, lack of care for patients and cultural dissonance between professionals and patients. "Challenges" describes problems in the rehabilitation work due to the need for interpreted mediated communication, the complexity in health status and social aspects among the patients. "Solutions" represents practical working methods and personal approaches developed by the informants for managing frustrations and challenges. Conclusions The informants' frustration and challenges when working with a new group of patients, vulnerable and different in their preconceptions, led to new solutions in working methods and approaches. When starting a pain rehabilitation programme for culturally diverse patients, it is important to consider the rehabilitation team's need for additional time and support. Implications for rehabilitation: Healthcare professionals who encounter immigrants with chronic pain need resources to develop their own skills in order to handle complex ethical questions as the patients represent a vulnerable patient group with many low status identities. In order to adapt rehabilitation programmes to patient groups with different languages and pre-understandings of chronic pain, there is a need for a team with specific qualities, i.e., close cooperation, an innovative atmosphere, time and also support from experts. For appropriate language interpretation it is important to have a professional interpreter and a healthcare professional who are aware of and adopt the rules, possibilities and restrictions of interpretation. The rehabilitation of patients in need of language interpretation needs more time and organisation compared to the rehabilitation of patients who speak the national language.

© Uhlin K; Persson E; Stalnacke BM; Lofgren M. Disability & Rehabilitation. 45(15):2434-2445, 2023 07.

Purpose People with long-term conditions or recovering from serious injuries can struggle to return to work. The evidence for occupational therapy supporting return to work is limited. We aimed to identify and explain how occupational therapy interventions work. Methods Systematic review. Seven databases were searched between 1 January 1980 and 15 June 2022. Studies measuring work-related outcomes among individuals receiving occupational therapy during absence from paid work were included. Multiple reviewers independently contributed to screening, quality appraisal and data extraction processes. Data were analysed as a narrative. Results Twenty studies with 3866 participants were included; 17 were assessed as having high risk of bias. Occupational therapy was inconsistently acknowledged affecting study identification and occupational therapy components were poorly described. Meta-analysis was unfeasible due to outcome heterogeneity. Individually tailored occupational therapy focused on return to work in musculoskeletal conditions indicated the most promising outcomes. Key intervention components included vocational assessment, goal setting and self-management. Key mechanisms of action included early intervention, individualised support and being responsive to needs. Conclusion Occupational therapists' contributions supporting return to work should be clearly attributed. Future effectiveness research should standardise the measurement of work outcomes to support meta-analysis. Developing a taxonomy for occupational therapy supporting return to work could facilitate comparisons across studies, highlighting occupational therapists' roles and facilitating training and benefits to patients.

© De Dios Perez B; McQueen J; Craven K; Radford K; Blake H; Smith B; Thomson L; Holmes J. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Jul2023; 86(7): 467-481.

Purpose In recent decades, many countries have implemented return-to-work coordinators to combat high rates of sickness absence and insufficient collaboration in the return-to-work process. The coordinators should improve communication and collaboration between stakeholders in the return-to-work process for people on sickness absence. How they perform their daily work remains unexplored, and we know little about to what extent they collaborate and perform other work tasks to support people on sickness absence. This study examines which work models return-to-work coordinators use in primary healthcare, psychiatry and orthopaedics in Sweden. Methods A questionnaire was sent to all 82 coordinators in one region (89% response rate) with questions about the selection of patients, individual patient support, healthcare collaboration, and external collaboration. Random forest classification analysis was used to identify the models. Results Three work models were identified. In model A, coordinators were more likely to select certain groups of patients, spend more time in telephone than in face-to-face meetings, and collaborate fairly much. In Model B there was less patient selection and much collaboration and face-to-face meetings. Model C involved little patient selection, much telephone contact and very little collaboration. Model A was more common in primary healthcare, model C in orthopaedics, while model B was distributed equally between primary healthcare and psychiatry. Conclusion The work models correspond differently to the coordinator's assignments of supporting patients and collaborating with healthcare and other stakeholders. The differences lie in how much they actively select patients, how much they collaborate, and with whom. Their different distribution across clinical contexts indicates that organisational demands influence how work models evolve in practice.

©  Svard V; Berglund E; Bjork Bramberg E; Gustafsson N; Engblom M; Friberg E. PLoS ONE. 18(8):e0290021, 2023.

Purpose The return-to-work (RTW) process for people with multimorbidity and psychosocial difficulties can be complicated. This study explores the organisational prerequisites for coordinating these patients' RTW processes from the perspective of coordinators in different clinical areas in Sweden. Methods Six focus group interviews were conducted with 24 coordinators working in primary healthcare (PHC), psychiatric and orthopaedic clinics. The data were analysed thematically, inspired by organisation theory. Results Coordinators described varying approaches to people with multimorbidity and psychosocial difficulties, with more hesitancy among PHC coordinators, who were perceived by other coordinators as hindering patient flows between clinical areas. Most organisational barriers to RTW were identified in the healthcare sector. These were long waiting times, physicians drawing up inadequate RTW plans, coordinators being involved late in the sickness absence process, and lack of rehabilitation programmes for people with multimorbidity. The barriers in relation to organisations such as Social Insurance Agency and Employment Services were caused by regulations and differing perspectives, priorities, and procedures. Conclusion Our findings indicate what is needed to improve the RTW process for patients with complex circumstances: better working conditions, steering, and guidelines; shorter waiting times; and a willingness among coordinators from different clinical areas to collaborate around patients. Implications for rehabilitation: RTW coordinators need sufficient physical and psychosocial working conditions as well as clear leadership. In order to avoid inequalities in access to RTW support, better systems are needed to identify patients who would benefit from rehabilitation and RTW coordination. There is a need for multilevel collaboration between clinical areas so that patients with multiple healthcare contacts and prolonged sickness absence can obtain support during the RTW process.

© Svard, Veronica; Jannas, Sandra. Disability & Rehabilitation. 45(18):2915-2924, 2023 Sep.

Purpose This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) - a counselling approach offered by caseworkers at the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV) - on return to work (RTW) for individuals sick-listed for >=8 weeks due to any diagnoses. MI was compared to usual case management and an active control during 12 months of follow-up. Methods In a randomized clinical trial with three parallel arms, participants were randomized to MI (N=257), usual case management (N=266), or an active control group (N=252). MI consisted of two MI sessions while the active control involved two sessions without MI, both were offered in addition to usual case management. The primary outcome was number of sickness absence days based on registry data. Secondary outcomes included time to sustainable RTW, defined as four consecutive weeks without medical benefits. Results The median number of sickness absence days for the MI group was 73 days [interquartile range (IQR) 31-147], 76 days (35-134) for usual care, and 75 days (34-155) for active control. In total 89%, 88% and 86% of the participants, respectively, achieved sustainable RTW. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for time to sustainable RTW was 1.12 (95% CI 0.90-1.40) for MI compared to usual case management and HR 1.16 (95% CI 0.93-1.44) compared to the active control. Conclusions This study did not provide evidence that MI offered by NAV caseworkers to sick-listed individuals was more effective on RTW than usual case management or an active control. Providing MI in this context could be challenging as only half of the MI group received the intervention.

© Aasdahl L; Standal MI; Hagen R; Solbjor M; Bagoien G; Fossen H; Foldal VS; Bjorngaard JH; Rysstad T; Grotle M; Johnsen R; Fors EA.  Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.  2023 Aug 27.

Juillet 2023

Purpose Decisions to increase work participation must be informed and timely to improve return to work (RTW). The implementation of research into clinical practice relies on sophisticated yet practical approaches such as machine learning (ML). The objective of this study is to explore the evidence of machine learning in vocational rehabilitation and discuss the strengths and areas for improvement in the field. Methods We used the PRISMA guidelines and the Arksey and O'Malley framework. We searched Ovid Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO; with hand-searching and use of the Web of Science for the final articles. We included studies that are peer-reviewed, published within the last 10 years to consider contemporary material, implemented a form of "machine learning" or "learning health system", undertaken in a vocational rehabilitation setting, and has employment as a specific outcome. Results 12 studies were analyzed. The most commonly studied population was musculoskeletal injuries or health conditions. Most of the studies came from Europe and most were retrospective studies. The interventions were not always reported or specified. ML was used to identify different work-related variables that were predictive of return to work. However, ML approaches were varied and no standard or predominant ML approach was evident. Conclusions ML offers a potentially beneficial approach to identifying predictors of RTW. While ML uses a complex calculation and estimation, ML complements other elements of evidence-based practice such as the clinician's expertise, the worker's preference and values, and contextual factors around RTW in an efficient and timely manner.

© Escorpizo R; Theotokatos G; Tucker CA. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 Jun 28.

Juin 2023

Purpose Early, targeted treatment is critical to recovery and overall health following a work-related illness or injury. Limited research has explored the important dimensions of work-specific injury rehabilitation from both client and staff perspectives. Methods A total of 17 participants (13 clients with work-related injuries, 3 physiotherapists, 1 project manager) involved in a unique program providing allied health treatment in combination with return-to-work services, were interviewed. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results Four themes were generated: (1) a biopsychosocial approach to rehabilitation; (2) a self-paced environment where client outcomes are optimised through transparent and collaborative team processes; (3) comprehensive care aids client recovery and return to work; and (4) a desire for service expansion is hampered by systemic barriers. Conclusions Injured workers and staff provided very positive feedback about the biopsychosocial supports needed for successful return to work, particularly the use of in-house work-specific simulation tasks as gradual in-vivo exposure and collaboration with scheme stakeholders. How to best provide this holistic care within current legislative requirements remains a challenge.

© Dorstyn D; Oxlad M; Whitburn S; Fedoric B; Roberts R; Chur-Hansen A. Australian Health Review. 47(3):339-343, 2023 Jun.

Purpose Return-to-work (RTW) process often includes many phases. Still, multi-state analyses that follow relevant labour market states after a long-term sickness absence (LTSA), and include a comprehensive set of covariates, are scarce. The goal of this study was to follow employment, unemployment, sickness absence, rehabilitation, and disability pension spells using sequence analysis among all-cause LTSA absentees. Methods Register data covered full-time and partial sickness allowance, rehabilitation, employment, unemployment benefits, and permanent and temporary disability pension (DP), retrieved for a 30% representative random sample of Finnish 18-59 years old persons with a LTSA in 2016 (N = 25,194). LTSA was defined as a >= 30-day-long full-time sickness absence spell. Eight mutually exclusive states were constructed for each person and for 36 months after the LTSA. Sequence analysis and clustering were used to identify groups with different labour market pathways. In addition, demographic, socioeconomic, and disability-related covariates of these clusters were examined using multinomial regressions. Results We identified five clusters with emphases on the different states: (1) rapid RTW cluster (62% of the sample); (2) rapid unemployment cluster (9%); (3) DP after a prolonged sickness absence cluster (11%); (4) immediate or late rehabilitation cluster (6%); (5) other states cluster (6%). Persons with a rapid RTW (cluster 1) had a more advantaged background than other clusters, such as a higher frequency of employment and less chronic diseases before LTSA. Cluster 2 associated especially with pre-LTSA unemployment and lower pre-LTSA earnings. Cluster 3 was associated especially with having a chronic illness before LTSA. Those in cluster 4 were on average younger and had a higher educational level than others. Especially clusters 3 and 4 were associated with a LTSA based on mental disorders. Conclusions Among long-term sickness absentees, clear groups can be identified with both differing labour market pathways after LTSA and differing backgrounds. Lower socioeconomic background, pre-LTSA chronic diseases and LTSA caused by mental disorders increase the likelihood for pathways dominated by long-term unemployment, disability pensioning and rehabilitation rather than rapid RTW. LTSA based on a mental disorder can especially increase the likelihood for entering rehabilitation or disability pension.

© Perhoniemi R; Blomgren J; Laaksonen M. BMC Public Health. 23(1):1102, 2023 Jun 07.

Purpose Non-White workers face more frequent, severe, and disabling occupational and non-occupational injuries and illnesses when compared to White workers. It is unclear whether the return-to-work (RTW) process following injury or illness differs according to race or ethnicity. Objective: To determine racial and ethnic differences in the RTW process of workers with an occupational or non-occupational injury or illness. Methods A systematic review was conducted. Eight academic databases - Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, ASSIA, ABI Inform, and Econ lit - were searched. Titles/abstracts and full texts of articles were reviewed for eligibility; relevant articles were appraised for methodological quality. A best evidence synthesis was applied to determine key findings and generate recommendations based on an assessment of the quality, quantity, and consistency of evidence. Results 15,289 articles were identified from which 19 studies met eligibility criteria and were appraised as medium-to-high methodological quality. Fifteen studies focused on workers with a non-occupational injury or illness and only four focused on workers with an occupational injury or illness. There was strong evidence indicating that non-White and racial/ethnic minority workers were less likely to RTW following a non-occupational injury or illness when compared to White or racial/ethnic majority workers. Conclusions Policy and programmatic attention should be directed towards addressing racism and discrimination faced by non-White and racial/ethnic minority workers in the RTW process. Our research also underscores the importance of enhancing the measurement and examination of race and ethnicity in the field of work disability management.

© Jetha A; Navaratnerajah L; Shahidi FV; Carnide N; Biswas A; Yanar B; Siddiqi A. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 Jun 09.

Purpose Current interventions designed to facilitate return to work (RTW) after long-term sick leave show weak effects, indicating the need for new approaches to the RTW process. The importance of social relationships in the workplace is widely recognized in existing RTW literature, but very little is known about the role of the interpersonal problems of the returning worker. Current research indicates that a subset of these - hostile-dominant interpersonal problems - give particular disadvantages in several life areas. This prospective cohort study aims to test whether higher levels of interpersonal problems predict lower likelihood of RTW when controlling for symptom levels (H1); and whether higher levels of hostile-dominant interpersonal problems specifically predict lower likelihood of RTW (H2). Methods 189 patients on long-term sick leave completed a 31/2-week transdiagnostic RTW program. Before treatment, self-reported interpersonal problems, chronic pain, insomnia, fatigue levels, anxiety and depression were collected. RTW data for the following year were collected from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. Results A multivariable binary logistic regression analysis found that (H2) hostile-dominant interpersonal problems significantly predicted RTW (OR = 0.44, [95% CI: 0.19, 0.98], p = .045), while a corresponding analysis (H1) found that general interpersonal problems did not. Conclusion Hostile-dominant interpersonal problems negatively predict RTW after long-term sick leave, suggesting an overlooked factor in the field of occupational rehabilitation. The findings could open up new avenues for research and interventions entailed to individuals in the field of occupational rehabilitation.

© Nilsen DA; Nissen O; Nordfjaern T; Hara KW; Stiles TC. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2023 Jun 20.

Purpose Based on the theoretical framework of the Model of Preventive Behaviours at Work, the aim of this study was to describe the the occupational rehabilitation strategies the literature reports that support workers who have suffered an occupational injury in adopting preventive behaviours. Methods To conduct this scoping review, we used a systematic methodology in 7 steps : (1) definition of the research question and inclusion/exclusion criteria; (2) scientific and gray literature search; (3) determination of manuscripts' eligibility; (4) extraction and charting of information; (5) quality assessment; (6) interpretation; and (7) knowledge synthesis. Results We selected 46 manuscripts of various types (e.g. randomized trials, qualitative studies, governmental documents). Manuscripts were mainly of good or high quality according to our quality assessment. The strategies for coaching, engaging, educating and collaborating were mostly reported in the literature to support the development of the six preventive behaviours during occupational rehabilitation. The results also suggest that heterogeneity exists regarding the specificity of the strategies reported in the literature, which may have hindered our ability to provide rich and detailed descriptions. Literature also mainly describes individually oriented behaviours and reports strategies requiring a low level of worker involvement, which represent issues to adress in future researh projects. Conclusion The strategies described in this article reprensent concrete levers that occupational rehabilitation professionals can use to support workers in the adoption of preventive behaviours at work on return from having suffered an occupational injury.

©  Lecours A; Coutu MF; Durand MJ. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2023 Jun 26.

Mai 2023

Purpose The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health is the WHO coding scheme for functioning-related data. Clear and unambiguous information regarding patients' work-related disabilities is important not only for the assessment of entitlement to paid sickness benefits but also for planning rehabilitation and return to work. The objective was to validate the content of ICF and ICF Core Sets for information on work-related disability in sick leave due to depression and long-term musculoskeletal pain. Specific aims: To describe to what extent (1) such data could be linked to ICF and (2) the result of the ICF linking in terms of ICF categories was represented in relevant ICF Core Sets. Methods An ICF-linking study following the ICF-linking rules. A random sample of sick leave certificates issued in primary care for either depression (n = 25) or long-term musculoskeletal pain (n = 34) was collected from a community with 55,000 inhabitants in Stockholm County, Sweden. Results The results of the ICF linking consisted of codings for (1) ICF categories and (2) other health information not possible to link to ICF. The ICF categories were compared to ICF Core Sets for coverage. The majority of the meaning units, 83% for depression and 75% for long-term musculoskeletal pain, were linked to ICF categories. The Comprehensive ICF Core Set for depression covered 14/16 (88%) of the ICF categories derived from the ICF linking. The corresponding figures were lower for both the Brief ICF Core Set for depression 7/16 (44%) and ICF Core Set for disability evaluation in social security 12/20 (60%). Conclusion The results indicates that ICF is a feasible code scheme for categorising information on work-related disability in sick leave certificates for depression and long-term musculoskeletal pain. As expected, the Comprehensive ICF Core Set for depression covered the ICF categories derived from the certificates for depression to a high degree. However, the results indicate that (1) sleep- and memory functions should be added to the Brief ICF Core Set for depression, and (2) energy-, attention- and sleep functions should be added to the ICF Core Set for disability evaluation in social security when used in this context.

© Fresk M; Grooten WJA; Brodin N; Backlund LG; Arrelov B; Skaner Y; Kiessling A. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 4:1159208, 2023.

Avril 2023

Purpose This feasibility study focusses on the implementation and use of a decision aid, which supports vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals in helping clients with a disability pension return to work in practice. The decision aid shows an overview of the clients' return to work barriers and suggests suitable VR interventions based on these barriers. Methods The study population consisted of VR professionals working at the Dutch Social Security Institute and their clients receiving a (partial) work disability pension. The feasibility was measured with concepts of the Linnan and Steckler framework and the attitude, social norm and self-efficacy model. Data were collected using questionnaires, checklists and qualitative interviews. Results Ten professionals participated in this study. Fifty-four clients were asked to fill in the questionnaire of the decision aid and 32 clients received VR care based on the decision aid. In general, VR professionals and clients were satisfied with the decision aid and perceived a few barriers for using the decision aid. Conclusions This study showed that it is feasible to implement and use the decision aid. To improve the implementation of this decision aid, it should be implemented in digital systems used by professionals to improve efficiency of working with the decision aid.

© de Geus CJC; Huysmans MA; van Rijssen HJ; Juurlink TT; de Maaker-Berkhof M; Anema JR. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 Apr 10.

Purpose Supervisors play a pivotal role in the sick leave process. Although responsibility for sick leave and return to work follow-up is increasingly placed on the workplace in Norway, few studies have explored supervisors' experiences. This study aims to explore supervisors' experiences with attending to employees' sick leave and return to work process. Methods This study consists of individual interviews with 11 supervisors from diverse workplaces that was analysed thematically. Results The supervisors emphasised the value of presence at the workplace, the need for them to obtain information and uphold dialogue, considering individual and environmental influences on return-to-work and allocating responsibility. Investing time and money was crucial to prevent or reduce the negative impact of sick leave. Conclusions The supervisors' perception of attending to sick leave and return-to-work largely reflect Norwegian legislation. However, they find obtaining information and managing responsibility challenging, suggesting that their responsibilities for return-to-work are perhaps disproportionate to their knowledge on attending this process. Individualised support and guidance on how to develop accommodations based on the employee's workability should be made available. The reciprocal nature of follow-up described also reveals how the return-to-work process is enmeshed with (inter)personal considerations possibly resulting in unequal treatment.

© Klevanger NE; Aasdahl L; By Rise M. PLoS ONE.18(4):e0284369, 2023.

Purpose Work participation is known to benefit people's overall health and wellbeing, but accessing vocational support during periods of sickness absence to facilitate return-to-work can be challenging for many people. In this study, we explored how vocational advice was delivered by trained vocational support workers (VSWs) to people who had been signed-off from work by their General Practitioner (GP), as part of a feasibility study testing a vocational advice intervention. Methods We investigated the discursive and interactional strategies employed by VSWs and people absent from work, to pursue their joint and respective goals. Theme-oriented discourse analysis was carried out on eight VSW consultations. Results These consultations were shown to be complex interactions, during which VSWs utilised a range of strategies to provide therapeutic support in discussions about work. These included; signalling empathy with the person's perspective; positively evaluating their personal qualities and prior actions; reflecting individuals' views back to them to show they had been heard and understood; fostering a collaborative approach to action-planning; and attempting to reassure individuals about their return-to-work concerns. Some individuals were reluctant to engage in return-to-work planning, resulting in back-and-forth interactional negotiations between theirs and the VSW's individual goals and agendas. This led to VSWs putting in  considerable interactional 'work' to subtly shift the discussion towards return-to-work planning. Conclusion The discursive strategies we have identified have implications for training health professionals to facilitate work-orientated conversations with their patients, and will also inform training provided to VSWs ahead of a randomised controlled trial.

© Saunders B; Chew-Graham C; Sowden G; Cooke K; Walker-Bone K; Madan I; Parsons V; Linaker CH; Wynne-Jones G. Health: an Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness & Medicine. 13634593221148446, 2023 Apr 24.

Purpose The objective of this study was to describe the interventions for the labor reintegration of workers on medical leave due to musculoskeletal and mental health diseases, according to actions related to the worker, the employer, and the workplace. Methods This study consists of a qualitative systematic review, without restriction of publication date, conducted in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and MEDLINE/PubMed scientific bases. In addition, the Epistemonikos database was used. Results Nineteen articles were selected. It is observed that all interventions proposed actions with the workers, such as rehabilitation programs, therapies and return to work plans. Regarding the actions in the workplace, only three interventions articulated actions with workers and evaluation of the workplace. Finally, actions with employers were considered in 10 interventions with the objective of involving the employer in the improvement of the workplace and planning for the worker's return to work. Conclusion It can be seen that interventions for patients with musculoskeletal and mental health disorders can be divided into the following categories: worker-oriented interventions, employer-oriented interventions, and workplace actions. In each of these categories, various interventions can be seen, ranging from multidisciplinary intervention to exercise-based rehabilitation, in the case of musculoskeletal disorders, and occupational therapy to the psychotherapeutic method based on music, for mental health disorders.

© Toffoletto MC; Ahumada JD. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Trabalho. 20(4):659-669, 2022 Oct-Dec.

Purpose Vocational rehabilitation (VR) involves complex skills, and often inter-disciplinary teams need to work effectively to meet the needs of stakeholders. Research highlights important influences on effective teamwork, including funding systems, team structure, policies and procedures, and effects of professional hierarchies. This qualitative study aimed to explore these issues in-depth including how factors interact to produce problems and solutions. We focused on identifying challenges and opportunities for VR teams working in the Aotearoa-New Zealand context which may also be transferrable to other settings. Methods Qualitative descriptive instrumental case study involving focus groups and interviews with two VR teams (n = 14). Teams worked in musculoskeletal injury and were geographically diverse. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Analysis constructed three overarching themes: Having the Power, Being Human, and VR is Not for Everyone. Achieving trusting relationships within the team was paramount. This was achieved through seeing everyone as equal, and as human. Equality within the team was particularly important for professionals that occupied different positions of power in a wider professional hierarchy. VR specialist skills (experience and postgraduate qualifications) were often under-recognised, leading them to have little power in VR decision making processes. VR professionals also experienced competing demands between client needs and business drivers. Conclusion Findings offer detail of processes teams engage in to create effective team relationships and manage systemic factors to facilitate positive outcomes. Additionally, findings highlight opportunities in decision-making processes for VR medical certification that may increase job satisfaction and better utilize skills and expertise.

© McAulay L; Fadyl J; Terry G. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2023 Apr 06.

Mars 2023

Purpose Injured workers can experience adverse effects from work injury and claims processes. Workers may be treated unfairly by employers, compensation boards, and return-to-work coordinators; however, how workers respond to these challenges is unknown. This article describes how injured precarious workers responded behaviourally and emotionally to procedural unfairness in work injury and claims processes, and what workers did next. Methods Interviews were conducted with thirty-six precariously employed injured workers recruited in Ontario through social media, email, cold calling, word-of-mouth, and the "snowball" method. Thematic code summaries were analyzed to identify how precarious workers responded to procedural unfairness. Results Workers went through all or most of these five stages (not always linearly) when faced with procedural unfairness: (1) passive, (2) fought back, (3) quit pursuit of claim, (4) quit job, and (5) won or got further in fight. Feeling confused, angry, frustrated, unsupported, disappointed, determined, optimistic, and wary were common emotions. Conclusions Identifying unfairness and its emotional, behavioral, and material effects on workers is important to understand implications for compensation systems. Understanding and recognizing unfairness can equip employers, legal representatives, compensation boards, and physicians, to address and prevent it, and provide worker resources. Policy changes can ensure accountability and consequences to unfairness initiators.

© Billias N; MacEachen E; Sherifali S. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 33(1):160-169, 2023 Mar.

Purpose The aims of this study were: (1) to explore the frequency of discrepancies in work accommodations reported by workers and their supervisors, and (2) to investigate whether these discrepancies are associated with full return to work (RTW). Methods We used data from a longitudinal survey study of long-term sick-listed workers and their supervisors (n = 406). Discrepancies in reports on implementing eight types of work accommodations were explored. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to test associations between discrepancies in reported work accommodations and odds of full RTW 27 months after the sick-leave onset. Results Discrepancies were the lowest for the work accommodation therapeutic RTW (53%) and the highest (85%) for job training or education and reimbursement of therapy or treatment. Four out of eight types of work accommodations were more often reported by workers than by their supervisors. Only a discrepancy on a job reassignment within the organization was associated with lower odds of full RTW (OR 0.56, 95%-CI 0.36-0.88). Conclusion We found substantial discrepancies in the reported implementation of work accommodations between workers and their supervisors. Future research should focus on disentangling mechanisms that lead to discrepancies to avoid inefficiencies in the RTW process.

© Jansen J; Snippen N; Koning P; Boot C; van Ooijen R; Brouwer S. BMC Public Health. 23(1):525, 2023 Mar 18.

Purpose Aging workers represent an emerging, growing, and essential population for the contemporary labour market. Considering their unique characteristics, these individuals are at risk of experiencing periods of disability at work due to different reasons (e.g., chronic diseases, occupational injuries) and a different return-to-work experience compared to younger workers. The scoping review presented in this article aimed to identify facilitators and barriers to returning to work in aging people who suffered a health impairment. Methods Information from 34 manuscripts was extracted and analyzed, enabling the identification of factors hindering and facilitating the return to work of aging individuals, with regard to four systems: the individual, work, health, and compensation. Results The results suggest levers accessible to the various stakeholders involved in the process of returning to work for aging individuals to promote their healthy, safe, and satisfactory participation in work after a period of disability.

© Lecours A; Bedard-Mercier R. Canadian Journal on Aging. 42(1):1-12, 2023 Mar.

Purpose Return to work from long-term sick leave is influenced by personal and social factors, which can be measured by resilience, a construct that describe healthy adaptation against adversity. This study aimed to validate the validity and psychometric properties of the resilience scale for adults in a sample of long-term sick-listed individuals, and to investigate measurement invariance when compared with a university student sample. Methods Confirmatory factor analysis was used on a sick-listed sample (n = 687) to identify the scale’s factor structure, and comparison with a university student sample (n = 241) was utilized to determine measurement invariance. Results Results show that a slightly modified factor structure, in accordance with previous research, achieved acceptable fit in the sick-listed sample, while comparisons with the student sample supported measurement invariance. Conclusion This means that the study to a large degree support the factor structure of the resilience scale for adults in long-term sick-listed. Furthermore, the results indicate that the scale is similarly understood among long-term sick-listed as in a previously validated student sample. Thus, the resilience scale for adults can be a valid and reliable measure of protective factors in the long-term sickness absence and return to work context, and the subscale and total score can be interpreted similarly in long-term sick-listed as in other populations.

© Standal MI; Hjemdal O; Foldal VS; Aasdahl L; Hagen R; Fors EA; Anyan F. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2023 Mar 27.

Février 2023

Purpose This study aimed to explore (1) whether self-reported assessment on work-related functioning, workability, return-to-work (RTW) self-efficacy, and expectation was useful in the professionals' assessment of sick-listed workers and could guide referral to interventions and (2) whether self-reporting in addition to "usual practice" could improve the RTW dialog and involvement in case management. Methods The qualitative study took place in two municipal job centers in 2021. The assessment was based on the Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire, RTW-Self-efficacy Scale-19, and single items of self-rated health, workability, and RTW expectations. Sick-listed workers (n = 36) were interviewed by telephone. Three focus-group interviews were conducted with professionals who had used the questionnaire. Data were coded and analyzed thematically. Results Three themes with seven subthemes emerged: (1) accessibility; (2) one tool in the RTW toolbox (subthemes: a supplementary tool, a tool for reflection, facilitating interdisciplinary communication, and enhancing active participation); and (3) the value of "ticking boxes" (subthemes: good days, bad days, the issue of power, and the cultural meaning of words). Conclusion The professionals would not recommend the present questionnaire for use during their rehabilitation team meeting for assessment, interdisciplinary communication, or choice of interventions. However, using the parts assessing RTW self-efficacy and expectation combined with a dialog may be of value early in the RTW process. The self-reporting assessment tool was perceived to be meaningful to some sick-listed workers, as it provided reflections on important aspects of the RTW process. Some workers believed that it might contribute to the rehabilitation team, and thus, it could improve their involvement.

© Momsen AH; Tonnesen M; Zwicky-Hauschild B; Nielsen CV; Escorpizo R; Langagergaard V; Stapelfeldt CM. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 3:971574, 2022.

Purpose Workplace sickness absence is a major public health and economic problem, and common mental disorders (CMDs) such as anxiety and depression are associated with particularly high rates of long-term sickness absence. Effective return-to-work (RTW) interventions are required. This pilot study investigates the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of a new therapist-assisted Web-based RTW intervention (Workable) for injured workers on sick leave for a psychological or physical injury. Methods A single-group open pilot trial design was used, with assessments at pre-treatment and post-treatment. The intervention consisted of 6 weeks of online modules and 6 coaching calls from a psychologist. Results A total of 13 participants were recruited and 9 completed all questionnaires. Program adherence was high, with 92% of participants completing the 6-week intervention. Participants reported high levels of intervention satisfaction and ease of use. There were large and significant reductions between pre- and post-treatment on measures of depression, anxiety, stress, and workdays missed over the past four weeks, along with a significant increase in self-reported work ability. Conclusion These results suggest that Workable is a feasible and acceptable intervention for injured workers, with the potential to improve mental health and RTW outcomes. A randomized controlled trial is required to determine the efficacy of the intervention.

© Crawford J; Spence J; Lovegrove T; Tam E; Collins D; Harvey SB; Deady M. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 20(3), 2023 Jan 30.

Purpose Synthesising evidence of the effects of interventions to improve work participation among people with health problems is currently difficult due to heterogeneity in outcome measurements. A core outcome set for work participation is needed. Methods Following the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials methodology, we used a five-step approach to reach international multistakeholder consensus on a core outcome set for work participation. Five subgroups of stakeholders took part in two rounds of discussions and completed two Delphi voting rounds on 26 outcomes. A consensus of >=80% determined core outcomes and 50%-80% consensus was required for candidate outcomes. Results Fifty-eight stakeholders took part in the Delphi rounds. Core outcomes were: 'any type of employment including self-employment', 'proportion of workers that return to work after being absent because of illness' and 'time to return to work'. Ten candidate outcomes were proposed, among others: 'sustainable employment', 'work productivity' and 'workers' perception of return to work'. Conclusion As a minimum, all studies evaluating the impact of interventions on work participation should include one employment outcome and two return to work outcomes if workers are on sick leave prior to the intervention.

© Ravinskaya M; Verbeek JH; Langendam M; Madan I; Verstappen SMM; Kunz R; Hulshof CTJ; Hoving JL; Delphi participants. BMJ Open. 13(2):e069174, 2023 Feb 15.

Purpose The aging workforce influences employability and health of the working population, with new challenges emerging. The focus has shifted from return to work only, to enhancing ability to stay at work. It is unclear whether factors that influence return to work (RTW) also apply to preserving health and helping workers stay at work (SAW). Study objectives were to identify factors contributing to SAW among industrial workers and map identified factors to the Arena of Work Disability Prevention model (WDP-Arena, a commonly used RTW model) to identify agreements and differences. Methods Scoping review; eight databases were searched between January 2005- January 2020. Manuscripts with SAW as outcome were included; manuscripts with (early) retirement as outcome were excluded. Factors contributing to SAW were mapped against the components of the WDP-Arena. Results Thirteen manuscripts were included. Most results aligned with the WDP-Arena. These were most often related to the Workplace and Personal system. Compared to RTW, in industrial workers fewer factors related to the Legislative and Insurance system or Health Care system were relevant for SAW. Societal/cultural/political context was not studied. Multidimensional factors (workability, vitality at work, balanced workstyle, general health, dietary habits) were related to SAW but did not align with components in the WDP-Arena. Conclusion Most factors that determine SAW in industrial workers could be mapped onto the WDP- Arena model. However, new influencing factors were found that could not be mapped because they are multidimensional. The life-course perspective in SAW is more evident than in RTW. Many elements of the Legislative and Insurance system and the Health Care system have not been studied.

© Six Dijkstra MWMC; Bieleman HJ; Soer R; Reneman MF; Gross DP. Occupational Health Science. 2023 Feb.

Janvier 2023

Purpose Several occupational health disciplines are involved in return to work guidance, implying that good interdisciplinary collaboration is important. A shared conceptual framework and a common language for the assessment of work capacity and guidance in return to work is expected to be at the benefit of appropriate and sustainable employability of sick employees. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can be considered a shared conceptual framework and is also promising in terms of a common language. The purpose of the current study is to reach multidisciplinary consensus among occupational health professionals on the content of an ICF-based instrument for the assessment of work capacity and guidance in return to work. Methods To obtain multidisciplinary consensus we conducted a modified Delphi study among twelve occupational health experts, including four occupational physicians, four insurance physicians and four labour experts. The study included two e-mail rounds and two virtual meetings. In the consecutive rounds the experts assessed ICF items as well as a list of non-ICF-based work-related environmental factors on their relevance for the assessment of the work capacity and guidance in return to work together with their interpretability. Results The four consecutive Delphi rounds resulted in 20 items that are minimally needed for the assessment of the work capacity and return to work possibilities of employees on sick leave. The final list included six items on personal functioning, seven items on social functioning and seven items on physical functioning. Conclusions This set of items forms the core of an ICF-based instrument, which is expected to facilitate interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary communication because of the use of a shared conceptual framework. As such, it should be of help in the guidance in return to work of employees on sick leave and contribute to appropriate and sustainable employability.

© de Wind A; Donker-Cools BHPM; Jansen L; Luymes CH; van der Burg-Vermeulen SJ; Oomens S; Anema JR; Schaafsma FG.  BMC Public Health. 22(1):2449, 2022 Dec 28.

Purpose This study aimed to investigate how the type of return to work after an industrial accident affects job retention. Methods Using data from the panel study of workers' compensation insurance first-third, and hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for workers leaving their jobs. Results The HR leaving their jobs were higher in the "reemployed" compared with that in the "returned to original work," with HR of 2.69 (2.33-3.10). According workers' status, the HRs leaving their jobs were higher among the "reemployed" than among those who "returned to original work." Regular and daily workers' HRs were 1.70 (1.37-2.11) and 3.55 (2.96-4.26), respectively. Conclusions The findings suggest that to increase job retention rate, protection policies for reemployed workers or support for employers who hire reemployed workers should be considered.

©  Bae SW; Won JU; Park WM. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 65(1):e16-e20, 2023 Jan.

Purpose Workers who experience language barriers are at increased risk of work-related injuries and illnesses and face difficulties reporting these health problems to their employer and workers' compensation. In the existing occupational health and safety literature, however, such challenges are often framed in individual-level terms. We identify systemic barriers to reporting among injured workers who experience language barriers within the varying contexts of Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Methods This study merges data from two qualitative studies that investigated experiences with workers' compensation and return-to-work, respectively, for injured workers who experience language barriers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 workers and 70 stakeholders in Ontario and Quebec. Audio recordings were transcribed and coded using NVivo software. The data was analysed thematically and iteratively. Results Almost all workers (34/39) had filed a claim, though most had initially delayed reporting their injuries or illnesses to their employer or to workers' compensation. Workers faced several obstacles to reporting, including confusion surrounding the cause and severity of injuries and illnesses; lack of information, misinformation, and disinformation about workers' compensation; difficulties accessing and interacting with care providers; fear and insecurity linked to precarity; claim suppression by employers; negative perceptions of, and experiences with, workers' compensation; and lack of supports. Language barriers amplified each of these difficulties, resulting in significant negative impacts in economic, health, and claim areas. Conclusion Improving the linguistic and cultural competence of organizations and their representatives is insufficient to address under-reporting among workers who experience language barriers. Efforts to improve timely reporting must tackle the policies and practices that motivate and enable under-reporting for workers, physicians, and employers.

©  Premji S; Begum M; Medley A. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 66(2):122-131, 2023 Feb.

Purpose Common mental health and musculoskeletal disorders (CMDs and MSDs) are two of the most significant causes of non-participation in employment amongst working age adults. This case study fills an important gap in the scientific literature on reintegration back to work after sickness absence due to CMDs and MSDs. It particularly examines the return to work (RTW) experiences of sick-listed employees to understand the facilitators and barriers of sustainable RTW. Methods Using a realist evaluation approach within a qualitative inquiry, perceptions of employees were explored to provide in-depth understanding of what, how and under what circumstances sustainable RTW can be enabled for employees absent on a short- or long-term basis. Repeat face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 participants (15 women and 7 men, aged 30-50 years and sick-listed with MSDs and CMDs) who were recruited using purposive sampling. Data was thematically analysed. Results A total of 2 main codes and 5 subcodes were developed and grouped into three theoretical abstractions. As a result of validating the context, mechanism, and outcome configurations with accounts of participants, all three initial theories explaining the most prominent mechanisms that either facilitates or impedes a sustainable RTW for people with CMDs and MSDs were justified. Conclusions Our findings reveal the active role of line managers on the RTW outcomes of returning employees. However, line-manager's competence and ability to effectively support and implement appropriate RTW strategies suited to employees' hinges on working in alignment with key stakeholders and returning employees.

©  Etuknwa A; Daniels K; Nayani R; Eib C. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health [Electronic Resource]. 20(2), 2023 Jan 06.

Purpose Work injury can put older workers at higher risk of disability and early retirement. Rapid population ageing has raised questions about the ability of older workers to continue working, especially for those who have experienced work injury. Career development practices have been highlighted as a form of rehabilitation support to enable longer working lives of injured older workers. The purpose of this study was to explore whether career development practices contribute to higher expected retirement age for injured older workers (aged 45 and above). Methods A total of 274 older Australian workers employed at large organisations completed a survey about their health, retirement intentions, work injury, and engagement with career development practices. Hierarchical multiple regression and two-way analysis of variances were used to analyse the data. Results Work injury contributed to significantly lower expected retirement age for older workers. Work training and development predicted a significant amount of variance in expected retirement age of injured older workers, and enabled them to work to later retirement ages. There was no statistically significant difference in injured older workers' expected retirement age for those who participated in career discussion with their managers and those who did not participate. Conclusion Lack of career development support can affect injured older workers' ability to participate in employment. The findings highlight the importance for rehabilitation and human resource professionals to have a proactive and educative role in providing career development support to injured older workers.

© Mok I; Mackenzie L; Thomson K. Work. 2023, Vol. 74 Issue 1, p183-191.

Décembre 2022

Purpose Certifying long-term sick leave and coordinating complex rehabilitation programs are essential activities of social insurance doctors. These doctors have a role in preventing the decreased work capacity of employees that may lead to leaving the labour market and the transition of these employees to other social insurance benefits, such as a work disability pension. Objective: Analysis of long-term sick leaves (over 183 days) to identify risk factors and population groups with low potential for work capacity rehabilitation. Method We conducted a cross-sectional study between September 2019 and September 2020. The information was collected from the National Institute of Medical Assessment and Work Capacity Rehabilitation Bucharest registers and the EXPMED application. The data were statistically analysed using PSPP software. Results The highest rehabilitation percentage was achieved in cases of traumatic injuries (73.17%), followed by musculoskeletal diseases (70.06%). We noticed lower recovery in cases of nervous system diseases (50.56%) and cardiovascular diseases (44.23%). In the group that summed up the other pathologies, the recovery percentage was 58.37%. People who regained their work capacity were significantly younger (mean age 47.87 y +/- 8.93) than those who turned to other forms of social benefits, such as a disability pension or an old-age pension (mean age 53.16 y +/- 8.43). Conclusion Most of the subjects (72%) regained their work capacity and did not need a disability pension. We identified the sociodemographic and morbidity characteristics of people on long-term sick leave along with target groups requiring intensive intervention measures.

© Oancea C; Capraru RS; Stanescu AMA; Gherman DM.  BMC Public Health. 22(1):2249, 2022 Dec 02.

Purpose Research has long documented the low cost and effectiveness of most workplace accommodations to enable qualified people with disabilities to seek, secure, and maintain employment. Methods RETAIN Kentucky's return to work and stay at work intervention involves focused training for participants on requesting needed accommodations from their employers. Results In this article, we describe the win-win approach to reasonable accommodations, which serves as the basis for helping Kentuckians with disabilities identify and request on-the-job supports to aid in their efforts to remain in the workforce. Conclusions Workers with disabilities are more likely to stay in the workforce and continue making valuable contributions to the national and global economies if they have effective accommodations and other employment supports available to them.

© Rumrill PD; Rumrill SP; Wickert K; Sheppard-Jones K; Baumunk M; Roessler RT.  Work.  2022 Nov 28.

Novembre 2022

Purpose People with disabilities (PWD) are less likely to be employed than those without disabilities. Reasonable job accommodations are an essential factor for ensuring equal access to jobs for PWD. However, use of job accommodation is less than optimal among PWD with various types of disabilities. Sometimes, PWD have co-occurring impairments, which might affect accommodation use. This research aimed to explore disability phenotypes, frequently used accommodations, and employee- and job-related factors associated with the extent of job accommodation use. Methods A cross-sectional online survey of PWD was conducted in the Midwest region of the United States. Latent class analyses were used to identify disability phenotypes. Descriptive analysis and stepwise Poisson regression were used to identify factors associated with job accommodation use. Results A total of 326 PWD with work experience after acquiring a disability were included in this analysis. We identified three disability phenotypes: (1) Severe disability in cognitive, physical, emotional, communication and visual domains (32%), (2) Moderate cognitive and low physical disability (48%), and (3) High physical disability phenotypes (20%). 80% of PWD received at least one accommodation. Flexible working schedules, telework, and access to a support person in the workplace were the most common accommodations. Employee- (age, disability phenotypes, motor function) and job-related factors (job preparation, self-employment) are associated dependently with accommodation use. Conclusion This analysis identifies three disability phenotypes and highlights both employee- and job-related factors associated with accommodations used. It may be beneficial to consider multiple contextual factors, including co-occurring disability, employee- and job-related factors, when assisting people with job accommodations.

©   Su H; Wong J; Kudla A; Park M; Trierweiler R; Capraro P; Crown D; Ezeife N; Tomazin S; Munsell EGS; Heinemann AW, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2022 Nov 02.

Purpose Primary care physicians are uniquely positioned to assist ill and injured workers to stay-at-work or to return-to-work. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify primary care physicians' learning needs in returning ill or injured workers to work and to identify gaps to guide future research. Methods We used established methodologies developed by Arksey and O'Malley, Cochrane and adapted by the Systematic Review Program at the Institute for Work & Health. We used Distiller SR&#xa9;, an online systematic review software to screen for relevance and perform data extraction. We followed the PRISMA for Scoping Reviews checklist for reporting. Results We screened 2106 titles and abstracts, 375 full-text papers for relevance and included 44 studies for qualitative synthesis. The first learning need was related to administrative tasks. These included (1) appropriate record-keeping, (2) time management to review occupational information, (3) communication skills to provide clear, sufficient and relevant factual information, (4) coordination of services between different stakeholders, and (5) collaboration within teams and between different professions. The second learning need was related to attitudes and beliefs and included intrinsic biases, self-confidence, role clarity and culture of blaming the patient. The third learning need was related to specific knowledge and included work capacity assessments and needs for sick leave, environmental exposures, disclosure of information, prognosis of certain conditions and care to certain groups such as adolescents and pregnant workers. The fourth learning need was related to awareness of services and tools. Conclusions There are many opportunities to improve medical education for physicians in training or in continuing medical education to improve care for workers with an illness or injury that affect their work.

© Furlan AD; Harbin S; Vieira FF; Irvin E; Severin CN; Nowrouzi-Kia B; Tiong M; Adisesh A, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 32(4):591-619, 2022 Dec.

Purpose Dutch legislation encourages active participation of employees in their return-to-work (RTW) process. Empowering leadership may support employees’ self-direction in this process (i.e. by allowing and enabling their involvement in decision-making). Building upon a previous study, we aimed to study (1) how representatives of a university, i.e. an employer for employees with high levels of education (EH), manage RTW, (2) the similarities and differences between the RTW management of employers (or representatives thereof) of employees with low (EL) and high levels of education, and (3) the degree to which the employers’ roles resemble empowering leadership. Methods Qualitative methodology was applied. A thematic analysis of interview transcripts (rq1) was followed by a comparison of themes (rq2) and pattern matching (rq3). Results (1) EH tend to engage in dialogue and accommodate their employees as much as possible. (2) EL and EH showed several similarities, such as aiming to meet legal requirements on RTW management. Compared to EL, EH tend to focus more on facilitating employees. (3) Empowering leadership seems to be more common among EH. Conclusion Compared to employees with low levels of education, those with high levels of education may be granted more opportunity to self-direct their RTW. The study results provide starting points for employers for employees with both low and high levels of education who aim to enable employees’ self-direction in RTW, and help them to develop empowering leadership styles.

© Hoefsmit N; Pennings B; Houkes I. Work. Nov2022, p1-11.

Purpose To reduce sickness absence (SA) and increase work participation, the tripartite Agreement for a More Inclusive Working Life (IA) was established in Norway in 2001. IA companies have had access to several measures to prevent and reduce SA. Our aim in this paper was to estimate the average effect of having access to IA at the time of entering a first SA on later return-to-work (RTW) and on time spent in other work-related states. A secondary objective was to study how effects varied between women and men, and individuals with SA due to either musculoskeletal or psychological diagnoses. Methods Design: Population-based observational multistate longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Individual characteristics and detailed longitudinal records of SA, work and education between 1997-2011 were obtained from population-wide registries. Participants: Each individual born in Norway 1967-1976 who entered full-time SA during 2004-2011, with limited earlier SA, was included (n=187 930). Primary and Secondary Outcome Measures: Individual multistate histories containing dated periods of work, graded SA, full-time SA, non-employment and education. Analysis: Data were analysed in a multistate model with 500 days of follow-up. The effect of IA was assessed by estimating differences in state probabilities over time, adjusted for confounders, using inverse probability weighting. Results IA increased the probability of work after SA, with the largest difference between groups after 29 days (3.4 percentage points higher (95% CI 2.5 to 4.3)). Differences in 1-year expected length of stay were 8.4 additional days (4.9 to 11.9) in work, 7.6 (4.8 to 10.3) fewer days in full-time SA and 1.6 (-0.2 to 3.4) fewer days in non-employment. Similar trends were found within subgroups by sex, musculoskeletal and psychological diagnoses. The robustness of the findings was studied in sensitivity analyses. Conclusion Measures to prevent and reduce SA, as given through IA, were found to improve individuals' RTW after entering SA.

© Hoff R; Maltzahn N; Hasting RL; Merkus SL; Undem K; Kristensen P; Mehlum IS; Gran JM, BMJ open, 2022 Nov 22; Vol. 12 (11), pp. e062558

Purpose To address the increase in sick leave for nonspecific chronic pain and mental illness, the Swedish government and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions entered into an agreement on a “Rehabilitation Guarantee” to carry out multimodal rehabilitation (MMR). Objective: To investigate whether components of primary care MMR are associated with changes in sick leave. Methods A web-based survey was conducted in conjunction with a retrospective cross-sectional observational study of 53 MMR units. Sick leave data for the years before and after MMR completion was collected for 846 individuals. Results There was great disparity in how MMR was delivered. The average duration of rehabilitation was 4–8 weeks, and 74% of the MMR teams reported having fewer patients than recommended (≥20/year). Only 58% of the teams met the competence requirements. In-depth competence in pain relief and rehabilitation was reported by 45% of the teams and was significantly associated with fewer sick leave days after MMR (26.53, 95% CI: 3.65; 49.42), as were pain duration (17.83, 95% CI: –9.20; 44.87) and geographic proximity (23.75, 95% CI: –5.25; 52.75) of the health care professionals included in the MMR unit. Conclusion In-depth competence and knowledge about the complex health care needs of patients seem essential to MMR teams’ success in reducing sickness benefits for patients with nonspecific chronic pain and mental illness. Further research is needed to elucidate the optimal combination of primary care MMR components for increasing the return-to work rate and to determine whether involvement of the Social Insurance Agency or employers could support and further contribute to recuperation and help patients regain their previous work capacity.

© Severinsson Y; Grimby-Ekman A; Nordeman L; Holmgren K; Käll LB; Dottori M; Larsson MEH. Work. Nov2022, p1-11

Octobre 2022

Purpose The number of employees with physical diseases is increasing, and there is a need for support to help them return and continue to work. To provide effective support, it is important to identify barriers and facilitators for individuals in returning and continuing to work. Previous studies have reported barriers and facilitators for specific diseases. However, few reports have dealt with these issues across various diseases. To identify a range of barriers and facilitators that may apply to different physical diseases, we conducted a qualitative analysis by interviewing patients with diverse characteristics being treated for diseases. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews based on the criteria for qualitative research. We investigated three disease groups to obtain details of barriers and facilitators: impairments that were visible to other people (mainly stroke); impairments invisible to others (mainly heart disease); and impairments that changed over time (mainly cancer). Interview transcripts were analyzed and the results reported using systematic text condensation. Results We extracted 769 meaning units from 28 patient interviews. We categorized barriers and facilitators that were generalizable to various diseases into three themes (personal factors, workplace factors, and inter-sectoral collaboration and social resources) and 10 sub-themes (work ability, psychological impacts, health literacy, social status, family background, workplace structure, workplace system, workplace support, inter-sectoral collaboration, and social resources). Conclusions This study identified 10 sub-themes that can be applied for workers with physical diseases; those sub-themes may be used as a basis for communicating with those individuals about returning and continuing to work. Our results suggest that various barriers and facilitators for workers with physical diseases should be understood and addressed at medical institutions, workplaces, and support sites.

© Inoue S; Tateishi S; Harada A; Oginosawa Y; Abe H; Saeki S; Tsukada J; Mori K. BMC Health Services Research. 22(1):1229, 2022 Oct 04.

Purpose The ICF model is applied as a conceptual framework in occupational rehabilitation in Norway. To systematically apply the ICF model in rehabilitation this study had the following aims: (1) apply an ICF subset by merging an ICF core set and an ICF set to assess functioning in rehabilitation patients related to work; (2) develop a patient-reported ICF questionnaire and a clinician-friendly ICF report complementing the clinician-rated ICF subset and (3) evaluate whether ICF-based tools (subset, questionnaire, report) support the communication between a clinical team, patient and jobcentre contacts during return to work (RTW) follow up. Methods Forty-one patients completing four weeks rehabilitation were recruited. The patients were referred from general practitioners and jobcentres. The ICF subset was a combination of the EUMASS core set for disability evaluation and suggested ICF categories by experts in vocational rehabilitation from Iceland. A clinical rehabilitation team interviewed the patients using the ICF subset and problems were quantified on a generic qualifier scale for body functions, activities and participation and environmental factors. The research team and clinical team developed an ICF questionnaire, by cross-culturally adapting the Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire to Norwegian. The same teams also developed an ICF report. The rehabilitation clinic forwarded the report and questionnaire to the patients' jobcentre contact, which was responsible for the RTW follow up. To evaluate the benefits of ICF-based tools, the clinical team, user representative and jobcentre contacts together participated in four workshops. They were asked the degree to which and in what way the tools supported the communication between them. Results The ICF subset captured RTW challenges but was found to be time consuming. The jobcentres experienced the ICF report and questionnaire beneficial in the follow up as it strengthened their RTW decision-making basis and communication with the rehabilitation clinic and the patients about follow-up interventions. Conclusion The development and implementation of ICF-based tools for clinical practice was a preliminary success in supporting the communication between three stakeholders during RTW follow up. Future applications of ICF-based tools ought to integrate personal factors to capture both facilitators and barriers related to functioning and work, thus, getting closer to a holistic assessment.

© Johansen T; Kvaal AM; Konrasdottir AD. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 3:830067, 2022.

Purpose Employment is an essential component of life as it provides income, sense of engagement and opportunities for personal development. Unemployment due to disability following an accident may have dramatic social and psychological consequences on individuals; it is thus fundamental to foster return to work of these persons. The present work was aimed to develop a methodology determining suitable jobs for people living with disability after a job-related accident. Methods The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) taxonomy was combined with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to match individual resources with specific jobs requirements. ICF Linking Rules were employed by two independent groups of researchers to associate ICF codes to O*NET skills and abilities descriptors. Results O*NET descriptors were linked to 92 unique ICF codes. A “Criticality score” combining ICF and O*NET features to assess suitability of selected jobs for persons with disabilities was also proposed. Conclusions The proposed methodology represents a novel instrument to support return to work; the capability to assess specific work-related facets through the lens of both the ICF model and O*NET taxonomy would conceivably provide vocational rehabilitation specialists and occupational therapists with a useful tool fostering job placement of workers with disability.

© Negri L; Spoladore D; Fossati M; Arlati S; Cocchi MG; Corbetta C; Davalli A; Sacco M. Work. Oct2022, p1-14.

Purpose Does 15-minute consult using Motivational Interviewing (MI) have a positive effect on (1) time until return to work (RTW) and relapse after work resumption for patients who have been work disabled for longer than 3 months, and (2) can psychological variables (i.e., work-related motivation, work-related psychological needs, quality of life and work ability) explain these results?  Methods 265 patients were included in a pilot randomized controlled trial, parallel and single blind, with an allocation ratio of 1:1 comparing the consult with MI with the consult as usual group (CAU). There was a 12-month follow up on actual RTW and relapse for both groups. The psychological outcomes were work-related motivation (MAWS), work-related psychological needs (BPNSFS), quality of life (EQ5D5L)) and work ability (WAI). Measurement of these indicators took place at baseline, 1 week after the intervention and 3 months after the intervention. Results Patients in the MI group showed faster RTW and had a lower chance of relapse compared to those in the CAU condition. No significant differences were found between MI and CAU for the psychological outcomes. Conclusions Based on our results, there is some evidence that counseling including MI helps work-disabled patients to RTW faster and experience less relapse. However, much remains unknown about the underlying psychological mechanisms explaining this effect. Suggestions are made for the full RCT.

© Vanovenberghe C; Van den Broeck A; Bois MD; Schryver M; Lauwerier E.  Patient Education & Counseling.  2022 Sep 28.

Purpose Being able to participate in work is an important determinant of health. Therefore, reintegration professionals provide support to clients to return to work (RTW). Since RTW has a significant impact on a client's life, it is preferred that clients are involved in the decision-making process of RTW. A method to do so, is shared decision-making (SDM), involving the following steps: collaborating as a team, explaining clients that they can be part of the decision-making process, setting a shared goal, presenting and discussing choice options, and making a shared decision. We explored how clients experience and prefer these SDM steps in their current and ideal interaction with professionals. Methods We performed semi-structured interviews with fourteen clients receiving support in their RTW process from four different municipalities. Results Clients emphasised the importance of collaborating as team. None of the clients reported having been told that they could be part of the decision-making process, or discussed a shared goal with a professional, which they would prefer. Some clients were presented choice options. When choice options were discussed, frequently only the negative aspects of choice options were explained by the professional. A great number of clients experienced that shared decisions were made, but based this on the shared effort made by the client and professional to RTW. Conclusions Clients generally wish to cooperate and participate in the decision-making process, but their ability to do so is limited due to not being fully involved in the SDM steps.

© Vooijs M; Hazelzet AM; van Kesteren NMC; Verhoef H; Otten W.  Work.  2022 Oct 03.

Purpose This is a qualitative descriptive study of professionals' perceptions of facilitators and barriers for returning to work for women on long-term sick leave due to musculoskeletal pain and/or common mental disorder who participated in a vocational rehabilitation project. Methods Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 13 purposefully selected professionals from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the Swedish Public Employment Service, the health care services, and the municipal services. The interviews were analyzed with a manifest content analysis. Results The main facilitators were the close cooperation between the professionals and the individual support that was offered to the project participants. The main barriers were differences among the stakeholders' missions and goals, limitations in project duration and within the labor market, and the project participants' personal factors. Conclusions These results emphasize the importance of cooperation between the various stakeholder professionals and a focus on the individual's resources and needs. The study highlights the value of including health care professionals in vocational rehabilitation to benefit from their specific knowledge of the target group and that group's strengths and needs. Moreover, the study highlights the need to incorporate collaboration with employers and align with the local labor market in the development of vocational rehabilitation interventions.

© Larsson K; Hurtigh AL; Andersén ÅMV; Anderzén I. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Oct2022; 66(1): 66-78.

Purpose The literature on racial differences in vocational rehabilitation (VR) services has not been updated for over a decade. Methods Using the 2017 individual-level U.S. national RSA-911 data, supplemented with the 2017 American Community Survey and publicly available information from the Kaiser Family Foundation, we investigated racial differences at each step of the VR process—application, eligibility, service provision, and employment outcomes at closure. Results At the first step, application, White individuals with disabilities were less likely to apply than their African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic counterparts, and more likely to apply than their Asian counterparts. For the remaining three steps, the results were inverted: the White subgroup had higher eligibility rates, service rates, and employment rates than the African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic subgroups, and lower rates than the Asian subgroup. Conclusions These findings suggest that racial and ethnic differences continue to exist in the VR process despite several legislative acts and policy efforts. Within each racial and ethnic minority group, we also found large variation in application rates and employment rates across states, which indicates a need for developing performance measures and standardized guidelines for state VR agencies to better serve individuals with disabilities from racial and ethnic minorities.

© Yin M; Pathak A; Lin D; Dizdari N. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. Oct2022, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p13-24.

Purpose To investigate differences in modified-return-to work (MRTW) within the first 30 days of a work-related, short-term disability injury by immigration characteristics. This question was part of a program of research investigating differences in work and health experiences among immigrant workers and explanations for longer work disability durations. Methods Workers' compensation claims, immigration records and medical registry data were linked to identify a sample of workers in British Columbia, Canada with a short-term disability claim for a work-related back strain, concussion, limb fracture or connective tissue injury occurring between 2009 and 2015. Multivariable logistic regressions, stratified by injury type, investigated the odds of MRTW, defined as at least one day within the first 30 days on claim, associated with immigration characteristics, defined as a Canadian-born worker versus a worker who immigrated via the economic, family member or refugee/other humanitarian classification. Results Immigrant workers who arrived to Canada as a family member or as a refugee/other immigrant had a reduced odds of MRTW within the first 30 days of work disability for a back strain, concussion and limb fracture, compared to Canadian-born workers. Differences in MRTW were not observed for immigrant workers who arrived to Canada via the economic classification, or for connective tissue injuries. Conclusion The persistent and consistent finding of reduced MRTW for the same injury for different immigration classifications highlights contexts (work, health, social, language) that disadvantage some immigrants upon arrival to Canada and that persist over time even after entry into the workforce, including barriers to MRTW.

© Senthanar S; Koehoorn M; Tamburic L; Premji S; Bültmann U; McLeod CB, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Oct 29.

Septembre 2022

Purpose Long-term sick leave is a serious concern in developed countries and the cost of sickness absence and disability benefits cause major challenges for both the individual and society as a whole. Despite an increasing body of research reported by existing systematic reviews, there is uncertainty regarding the effect on return to work of workrelated interventions for workers with different diagnoses. The objective of this systematic review was to assess and summarize available research about the effects of work-related interventions for people on long-term sick leave and those at risk of long-term sick leave. Methods We conducted a systematic review in accordance with international guidelines. Campbell Collaboration (Area: Social Welfare), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, Epistemonikos, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Sociological Abstracts were systematically searched in March 2021. Two authors independently screened the studies. We conducted risk of bias assessments and meta-analyses of the available evidence in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The remaining comparisons were synthesized narratively. The certainty of evidence for each outcome was assessed. Results We included 20 RCTs comprising 5753 participants at baseline from 4 different countries. The studies had generally low risk of bias. Our certainty in the effect estimates ranged from very low to moderate. Eight different interventions were identified. Meta-analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between multidisciplinary rehabilitation (MR) and usual care (US) (Risk Ratio [RR] 1.01; Confidence Interval [CI] 95% 0.70-1.48 at 12 months follow-up) and between MR and other active intervention (Risk Ratio [RR] 1.04; Confidence Interval [CI] 95% 0.86-1.25 at 12 months follow-up). Remaining intervention groups revealed marginal, or no effect compared to the control group. The results for the secondary outcomes (self-efficacy, symptom reduction, function, cost-effectiveness) showed varied and small effects in the intervention groups. Conclusion Overall, the present data showed no conclusive evidence of which work-related intervention is most effective for return to work. However, a handful of potential interventions exist, that may contribute to a foundation for future research. Our findings support the need for adequately powered and methodologically strong studies.

© Tingulstad A, Meneses-Echavez J, Evensen LH, Bjerk M, Berg RC. Systematic Reviews. 9/5/2022, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1-16.

Purpose To achieve adequate return to work (RTW) after sickness absence, Dutch legislation prescribes cooperation between absent employees and employers. Yet, we lack insight into how employees with low levels of education exercise influence over (i.e. self-direct) RTW. This study aimed to enhance our understanding of: A) the role that employers play in the self-direction of employees with low levels of education over their RTW, B) how employers perceive these employees’ efforts (or lack thereof) to self-direct their own RTW, and how employers understand and interpret the behaviours of these employees. Methods Social cognitive theory served as a framework. A qualitative study was conducted with 13 employer representatives using semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed in NVivo12 using a template approach. Results Employers tend to play a guiding, directive role in employees’ RTW. According to employers, employees generally comply with the employers’ decisions and suggestions, whether or not they have tried to realise their own preferences regarding mode and timing of RTW. Employers interpret such employee behaviours from the perspective of environmental (e.g. financial pressures to RTW) and person-related factors (e.g. sickness and RTW perceptions). Employers, rather than employees direct the employees’ RTW. Conclusion Employers should give voice to employees and enable them to have more control over their RTW. Future research should acquire more insight in the employees’ perspective.

© Hoefsmit N, Houkes I. Work. Sep2022, p1-14.

Purpose Return to work is a complex and challenging process which takes various forms in different contexts. The aim of this study is to explore and compare cross-country differences in stakeholders' experiences and views on actors, policies and practices relevant for return to work after long-term sickness absence. The comparative exploration is done in six countries with various legislative backgrounds, welfare and social dialogue systems. Methods Using a purposive sample, six multidisciplinary stakeholders group discussions were conducted in six countries: Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Slovakia. A total of 51 individuals comprised of social partners, policymakers or representatives of public bodies and patient associations participated. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed to derive the most important themes in the discussions. Results Five major themes emerged from the group discussions. A graphic model is proposed to emphasize the variety of frameworks and processes across countries. Conclusions The core part of the return to work process is the dynamic relation between legislation, stakeholders and practices, which is influenced by broader national and societal factors. The cross-country variation in legislations, stakeholders and practices can be understood as a continuum, from low to high structuring, development and comprehensiveness. Although social dialogue appears to have a role in return to work process with variation across countries, it is not always on top of the agenda of social partners.

© Popa AE; Akgüç M; Amir Z, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Sep 14

Août 2022

Returning to work in critical care after a break in clinical practice can be a daunting process. This article describes development and evolution of the Critical Care, Resuscitation, Airway Skills: Helping you return to work (CRASH) course, including the supporting literature. CRASH is the first bi-national course assisting return to work (RTW) for critical care practitioners. It evolved as a collaborative effort across Australia and New Zealand, involving anaesthetists, emergency physicians and intensivists. The course is based around tailored sessions practising skills and clinical decision-making using simulation and case discussions, incorporating practical tips on returning to work. Participants receive resources to assist RTW including questionnaires and checklists developed by the faculty, which have been used to aid RTW in more than 30 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. Attendance is open to all critical care practitioners who are registered with the relevant medical board and returning to work, who have taken leave from work for any reason. Since 2014, 197 participants have attended CRASH in-person or virtually, one of the largest RTW groups described in the literature. The aim of this article is to outline the literature around inactivity and RTW, and describe the development and adaptation of the CRASH course.

© Allen KJ; Wright JC; Lee EM; Vickerman BJ; Barnett SG. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care. 2022 Aug 18.

Purpose For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market policies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environmental problems. Since very little is known about these "non-medical" problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit. Results Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most frequently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level. Conclusions Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management. Implications for rehabilitation: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life; therefore, interventions tailored to deal with needs related to specific problems might be more effective than traditional programs. Interventions should match experienced barriers, and involve multi-actor work disability management with all the challenges of mutual cooperation. For persons with multiple problems a focus on pure medical barriers is too narrow, because personal, social, and environmental factors might also obstruct participation in work.

©   Brongers KA; Hoekstra T; Roelofs PDDM; Brouwer S.  Disability & Rehabilitation. 44(16):4303-4310, 2022 Aug.

Purpose Safety climate (SC) is a robust leading indicator of occupational safety outcomes. There is, however, limited research on SC among workers who have returned to work with a work-related permanent impairment. This study examined three propositions: (1) a two-level model of SC (group-level and organization-level SC) will provide the best fit to the data; (2) antecedent factors such as safety training, job demands, supervisor and coworker support, and decision latitude will predict SC; and (3) previously reported associations between SC and outcomes such as reinjury, work-family conflict, job performance, and job security will be observed. Methods A representative cross-sectional survey gathered information about experiences during the first year of work reintegration. About one year after claim closure, 599 interviews with workers were conducted (53.8% response rate). Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test the factor structure of the SC construct. Further, researchers used correlation analyses to examine the criterion-related validity. Results Consistent with general worker populations, our findings suggest the following: (1) the two-factor structure of SC outperformed the single-factor structure in our population of workers with a permanent impairment; (2) correlations demonstrate that workplace safety training, decision latitude, supervisor support, coworker support, and job demand  could predict SC; and (3) SC may positively impact reinjury risk, work-family conflict, and may increase job performance and job security. Conclusions Our study validated a two-factor SC scale among workers with a history of disabling workplace injury or permanent impairment who have returned to work. Practical applications of this scale will equip organizations with the necessary data to improve working conditions for this population.

©   Huang YH; Sears JM; He Y; Courtney TK; Rega E; Kelly A.  Work.  2022 Aug 16.

Purpose The return-to-work (RTW) process for people with multimorbidity and psychosocial difficulties can be complicated. This study explores the organisational prerequisites for coordinating these patients' RTW processes from the perspective of coordinators in different clinical areas in Sweden. Methods Six focus group interviews were conducted with 24 coordinators working in primary healthcare (PHC), psychiatric and orthopaedic clinics. The data were analysed thematically, inspired by organisation theory. Results Coordinators described varying approaches to people with multimorbidity and psychosocial difficulties, with more hesitancy among PHC coordinators, who were perceived by other coordinators as hindering patient flows between clinical areas. Most organisational barriers to RTW were identified in the healthcare sector. These were long waiting times, physicians drawing up inadequate RTW plans, coordinators being involved late in the sickness absence process, and lack of rehabilitation programmes for people with multimorbidity. The barriers in relation to organisations such as Social Insurance Agency and Employment Services were caused by regulations and differing perspectives, priorities, and procedures. Conclusion Our findings indicate what is needed to improve the RTW process for patients with complex circumstances: better working conditions, steering, and guidelines; shorter waiting times; and a willingness among coordinators from different clinical areas to collaborate around patients. Implications for rehabilitation: RTW coordinators need sufficient physical and psychosocial working conditions as well as clear leadership. In order to avoid inequalities in access to RTW support, better systems are needed to identify patients who would benefit from rehabilitation and RTW coordination. There is a need for multilevel collaboration between clinical areas so that patients with multiple healthcare contacts and prolonged sickness absence can obtain support during the RTW process.

©   Svard V; Jannas S.  Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-10, 2022 Aug 25.

Purpose Much of the existing research on disability and disability-related workplace accommodations presume that disabilities are visible and commonly accepted. Yet, many disabilities are invisible and contested, or perceived as fake, low-severity/minor, and/or illegitimate. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of identity management strategies that individuals with contested disabilities might use when requesting accommodations in a workplace setting. Methods We used two electronic experiments to investigate the effect of identity management strategies on perceived fairness of accommodations and attributions about individuals requesting accommodations. Studies 1 and 2 used online surveys to collect data from 117 and 184 working adults, respectively. Results Study 1 indicates that four invisible disabilities (chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and chronic migraine) are viewed as significantly less legitimate than the visible disability paraplegia. In study 2, any form of disclosure of a contested disability (vs. no disclosure) resulted in higher perceived fairness and more positive attributions about the person requesting accommodations. There were minimal differences between the different identity management strategies tested. Conclusion Workplaces should work to create spaces in which employees can disclose contested disabilities to managers and coworkers without fear of enhanced stigmatization.

© Godard R; Hebl M; Nittrouer C. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Aug 2022, p1-10.

Juillet 2022

Purpose There is an increasing emphasis on activating workers on sick leave and on using their residual work capacity. This article compares activation via graded-work schemes in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, with a focus on the role of employers. Results The analysis of literature sources and survey data reveals an ongoing reform activity, as well as great diversity in terms of employer obligations and incentives in the countries studied. These differences are very consequential for the intensity of employer efforts to activate sick-listed workers, even when comparing countries that otherwise share many institutional features. The distinction between public and privatised systems of sickness insurance, on the contrary, seems to be less relevant for the question of employer participation in activation. Conclusion The findings are consistent with the expectation that less comprehensive employer participation is correlated with stronger selectivity in activation efforts. Depending on the prevailing approach in the individual countries and on developments to date, policy-makers are confronted with different challenges and priorities.

© Leoni T. Social Policy & Society. Jul 2022, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p385-404

Return to work is at the crossroads of complex medical, legal, economic and social concepts and involves a multitude of stakeholders who are often far removed from the reality of care in the medical practice. This article presents some basic concepts on return to work and explores some good practice guidelines. It also describes the role and limits of the occupational physician in the company and mentions possible areas of collaboration with social insurers and employers. It aims to provide concrete elements for the practice of the primary care physician.

©   Jaton C; Kokkinakis I; Gavin G; Dorribo V; Regamey F.  Revue Medicale Suisse. 18(788):1295-1299, 2022 Jun 29.

Juin 2022

Purpose This article provides a state-of-the-art review of issues and factors associated with the sustainable return to work (S-RTW) of ethnocultural minority workers experiencing disability situations attributable to one of four major causes: musculoskeletal disorders, common mental disorders, other chronic diseases or cancer. Methods Using an interpretive description method, an integrative review was conducted of the literature on ethnocultural factors influencing S-RTW issues and factors associated with these four major work-disability causes. An initial review of the 2006-2016 literature was subsequently updated for November 2016-May 2021. To explore and contextualize the results, four focus groups were held with RTW stakeholders representing workplaces, insurers, the healthcare system and workers. Qualitative thematic analysis was performed. Results A total of 56 articles were analyzed and 35 stakeholders participated in four focus groups. Two main findings emerged. First, belonging to an ethnocultural minority group appears associated with cumulative risk factors that may contribute to vulnerability situations and compound the complexity of S-RTW. Second, cultural differences with respect to the prevailing host-country culture may generate communication and trust issues, and conflicts in values and representations, in turn possibly hindering the establishment of positive relationships among all stakeholders and the ability to meet workers' needs. Being a woman in these groups and/or having a lower level of integration into the host country's culture also appear associated with greater S-RTW challenges. Conclusions Based on our findings, we recommend several possible strategies, such as the cultural humility model, for preventing differences from exacerbating the already significant vulnerability situation of some ethnocultural minority workers.

© Coutu MF, Durand MJ, Cote D, Tremblay D, Sylvain C; Gouin MM, Bilodeau K, Nastasia I, Paquette MA.  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2022 May 26

Purpose This article is a scoping review of efforts in labour market inclusion of the chronically ill in the Scandinavian countries, a research area that has received much political as well as research attention in recent years. The aim of the review was to identify promising strategies and the need for further research. Methods Six electronic databases were searched for literature published between 2015 and 2020. We included peer-reviewed articles that studied the effect of measures, aimed at the workplace or at the individual, that are intended to increase participation. Our search resulted in 2718 articles; our screening procedures resulted in 47 included articles. Results Among the included studies, musculoskeletal problems (17 articles) and mental health problems (29 articles) were the most frequent chronic conditions. Multimodal occupational rehabilitation programmes directed towards the individual employee were the most frequent interventions (30 articles). Return to work (24 articles) and sickness absence (12 articles) were the most common outcomes. About half (25 articles) of the included studies reported a positive impact of the intervention on work inclusion of the chronically ill. Conclusions Our review found little evidence of how government programmes directed towards the supply side of the labour market succeed in including the chronically ill. Our review further indicated that multidisciplinary workplace interventions have a substantial effect. We also identified a significant lack of research on the effect of various governmental policies and programmes, including local health, work and welfare services, and limited coordination and cooperation between health and work services professions.

©   Rydland HT; Bentsen HL; Ervik R; GrOnning K; Islam K; Kjerstad E; Skogedal.  Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2022 May 10.

Purpose This article focuses on the risk that work disability policies lock people into work disability rather than promote durable health and return to work. We outline the concept of a work disability trap as a heuristic device to explore this policy paradox inherent in the design of most social insurance systems. Methods This is a conceptual paper drawing on examples from existing research. Results We identify three manifestations of the disability trap: not overcoming disability; underperforming; and returning to work prematurely. The causes of these manifestations are identified as structural rather than based on malingering clients, while negative consequences are identified both on client and system levels. Conclusion We emphasize the need for systems built on trust and reasonable expectations, and the need for providing rehabilitation support independently of economic compensation. Universal basic income is introduced as a potential tool to ameliorate some of the consequences of the disability trap.Implications for rehabilitation Compensation systems focusing too prominently on early return to work may have counter-productive effects on rehabilitation.Overly suspicious assessment systems nurture a view of people as malingerers. Rehabilitation professionals need to be attentive to system-generated effects which may prevent overcoming work disability.

©   Stahl C; De Wispelaere J; MacEachen E. Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-7, 2022 May 16.

Purpose This systematic review aims to synthesise existing evidence on doctors' personal, social and organisational needs when returning to clinical work after an absence. Methods Design: Systematic review using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Data sources: AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, EMCARE, HMIC, Medline, PsycINFO and PubMed were searched up to 4 June 2020. Non-database searches included references and citations of identified articles and pages 1-10 of Google and Google Scholar. Eligibility criteria: Included studies presented quantitative or qualitative data collected from doctors returning to work, with findings relating to personal, social or organisational needs. Data extraction and synthesis: Data were extracted using a piloted template. Risk of bias assessment used the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument or Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Qualitative Checklist. Data were not suitable for meta-analyses and underwent narrative synthesis due to varied study designs and mixed methods. Results Twenty-four included studies (14 quantitative, 10 qualitative) presented data from 92 692 doctors in the UK (n=13), US (n=4), Norway (n=3), Japan (n=2), Spain (n=1), Canada (n=1). All studies identified personal needs, categorised as work-life balance, emotional regulation, self-perception and identity, and engagement with return process. Seventeen studies highlighted social needs relating to professional culture, personal and professional relationships, and illness stigma. Organisational needs found in 22 studies were flexibility and job control, work design, Occupational Health services and organisational culture. Emerging resources and recommendations were highlighted. Variable quality and high risk of biases in data collection and analysis suggest cautious interpretation. Conclusion This review posits a foundational framework of returning doctors' needs, requiring further developed through methodologically robust studies that assess the impact of length and reason for absence, before developing and evaluating tailored interventions. Organisations, training programmes and professional bodies should refine support for returning doctors based on evidence.

©   Attoe C; Matei R; Thompson L; Teoh K; Cross S; Cox T. BMJ Open. 12(5):e053798, 2022 May 31.

Purpose This article, the first in the Return-to-Work (RTW) Corner series, summarizes a comprehensive RTW and Stay-at-Work (SAW) program in Kentucky, which is funded by the United States Department of Labor. Methods The program, Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network: Kentucky (RETAIN Kentucky), focuses on RTW and SAW strategies, depending upon participants' employment status at the time of enrollment in the project. RETAIN Kentucky services are implemented by RTW Coordinators (RTWCs) who help people with non-work-related injuries and illnesses continue in the workforce. The first Phase of RETAIN Kentucky, which lasted for nearly 3 years, is now informing the Phase 2 intervention, which began in October 2021 and will enroll participants for 30 months. Results In this article, we outline the employment retention problem that RETAIN Kentucky addresses, describe the key features and services of the program, summarize our findings so far, and present future directions for Phase 2.

© Rumrill P; Sheppard-Jones K; Collett JW; McCurry S. Work. 72(1):3-8, 2022.

Purpose Motivation may predict return to work (RTW), yet the measurement of motivation needs more scientific evidence. We adopt a dimensional approach, based on the self-determination theory (SDT), distinguishing between amotivation, controlled and autonomous motivation. We seek to explore the presence of these dimensions in sick-disabled patients, and are interested in associations with quality of life, depression, patient's predictions of RTW, and health care provider estimations of patient's motivation. Methods A cross-sectional study in 336 patients was conducted. Motivation was assessed using the Motivation at Work Scale (MAWS) and examined in relation to patient outcomes, patient's prediction of RTW, and health care provider estimations of patients' motivation. A cluster analysis was performed, and differential associations between motivational profiles were explored. Results Cluster analysis revealed four profiles. Highly controlled profiles were most prevalent, reported poorer mental quality of life, and expected a longer time before RTW, regardless of the level of autonomous motivation. Interestingly, the health care provider's estimation was not related to controlled motivation. Conclusions Our results show that SDT may help to differentiate people with a work disability regarding their motivation to RTW. Most notably, the devastating consequences of controlled motivation are discussed, and clinical implications are provided. Implications for Rehabilitation Assessing the different dimensions of motivation in the context of RTW will be a significant advance as the self-report measures appear to be viable tools. Controlled motivation, which indicates that people are motivated to RTW but only because they "have to", has negative consequences yet a high prevalence and should therefore be addressed by the practitioner. Practitioners should keep in mind that employees are motivated by several motives at the same time, with some being more beneficial than others. Controlled motivation can be converted into autonomous (i.e., good quality) motivation by supporting autonomy of the patient, by supporting their relationships with colleagues, managers, and health care providers and by supporting their feeling of competence in the RTW process.

© Vanovenberghe C; Van den Broeck A; Lauwerier E; Goorts K; Du Bois M. Disability & Rehabilitation. 44(10):2053-2062, 2022 May.

Mai 2022

Purpose Long-term disability has a great impact on both society and workers with disabilities. Little is known about the barriers which prohibit workers with long-term disabilities from returning to work and which interventions are best suited to counteract these barriers. The main purpose of this study was to obtain consensus among professionals on important return to work (RTW) factors and effective vocational rehabilitation (VR) interventions for long-term (> 2 years), partially disabled workers. Our three research questions were: (1) which factors are associated with RTW for long-term disabled workers?; (2) which factors associated with RTW can be targeted by VR interventions?; and (3) which VR interventions are the most effective to target these factors? Methods A modified Delphi Study was conducted using a panel of 22 labour experts, caseworkers, and insurance physicians. The study consisted of several rounds of questionnaires and one online meeting. Results The multidisciplinary panel reached consensus that 58 out of 67 factors were important for RTW and that 35 of these factors could be targeted using VR interventions. In five rounds, the expert panel reached consensus that 11 out of 22 VR interventions were effective for at least one of the eight most important RTW factors. Conclusions Consensus was reached among the expert panel that many factors that are important for the RTW of short-term disabled workers are also important for the RTW of long-term partially disabled workers and that a substantial number of these factors could effectively be targeted using VR interventions. The results of this study will be used to develop a decision aid that supports vocational rehabilitation professionals in profiling clients and in choosing suitable VR interventions.

© de Geus CJC; Huysmans MA; van Rijssen HJ; Anema JR, BMC public health, 2022 May 02; Vol. 22 (1), pp. 875

Avril 2022

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate whether an integrated return-to-work (RTW) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) program - the Work Reintegration (WR) program - was associated with reduced work disability duration in the construction sector in Ontario, Canada. Methods Workers' compensation data from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were extracted for lost-time construction worker claims following work-related injuries between 2009 and 2015. Claims receiving referrals to RTW and VR specialists (treatments) were matched with claims receiving no referrals (controls) during the periods before and after the WR program introduction. Multivariable difference-in-differences linear and quantile regression models were used to examine differences in cumulative disability days paid during two-years post-injury between treatment and control groups before and after the program change and the difference in these differences, overall, and at different disability distribution percentiles. Results The WR program introduction was associated with reductions in cumulative disability days paid for all claims but most notably among longer duration claims referred to RTW specialists (reduction of 274 days at the 90 th percentile in the disability distribution) and shorter duration claims referred to VR specialists (reductions of 255 and 214 days at the 25 th and 50 th percentiles in the disability distribution, respectively). Conclusions The WR program introduction was effective in reducing cumulative disability days paid for construction worker claims but the effects varied at different percentiles in the disability distribution, as well as by specialist referral. The findings highlight the benefits of better integrated RTW and VR services to injured workers in the construction sector.

© Macpherson RA, He A, Amick Iii BC, Koehoorn M, McLeod CB, Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 2022 Apr 01; Vol. 48 (3), pp. 229-238

Purpose To identify predictors of return to work, duration of time off work, and claim closure for first responders experiencing injuries or illnesses, and summarize the claim data. Methods First responder claims collected between January 2012 and July 2017 were obtained from a disability management company. Known predictors of return to work were extracted from the data including age, sex, diagnosis, years of service, claim lag, medical report lag, and the return-to-work duties. Survival analyses were performed to identify predictors of return to work and claim closure using the Cox proportional regression analysis. Log-rank tests were performed to identify predictors that affected the rate of return to work and claim closure. Summary statistics were performed for the injury and return-to-work data. Results 60 of the 67 (89.6%) identified first responders returned to work within the data collection period. Musculoskeletal injuries predicted an increased likelihood of returning to work (hazard ratio = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.14-3.60) and a shorter duration of time off work (37 days on average) compared to mental health issues. Everyday of claim lag and medical report lag predicted a 2% decrease in likelihood of return to work. Returning to work was the only predictor of claim closure. 45 (67.2%) first responders returned to their pre-absence duties. 22 (32.8%) mental health claims and 45 (67.2%) injury claims were identified. Conclusions 89.6% of first responders returned to work, although only 67.2% returned to their pre-absence duties. Predictors of return to work included injury type, as first responders with musculoskeletal injuries returned to work sooner, and claim and medical lag delayed the return to work.

© Killip SC, MacDermid JC, Sinden KE, Gewurtz RE, Scott L, International archives of occupational and environmental health, 2022 Apr; Vol. 95 (3), pp. 723-735

Purpose Mental health conditions are a major contributor to productivity loss and are common after injury. This study quantifies postinjury productivity loss and its association with preinjury and postinjury mental health, injury, demographic, health, social and other factors. Methods Multicentre, longitudinal study recruiting hospitalised employed individuals aged 16-69 years with unintentional injuries, followed up at 1, 2, 4 and 12 months. Participants completed questionnaires on injury, demographic factors, health (including mental health), social factors, other factors and on-the-job productivity upon return to work (RTW). ORs were estimated for above median productivity loss using random effects logistic regression. Results 217 adults had made an RTW at 2, 4 or 12 months after injury: 29% at 2 months, 66% at 4 months and 83% at 12 months. Productivity loss reduced over time: 3.3% of working time at 2 months, 1.7% at 4 months, 1% at 12 months. Significantly higher productivity loss was associated with preinjury psychiatric conditions (OR 21.40, 95% CI 3.50 to 130.78) and post-traumatic stress avoidance symptoms at 1 month (OR for 1-unit increase in score 1.15, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.22). Significantly lower productivity loss was associated with male gender (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.74), upper and lower limb injuries (vs other body regions, OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.81) and sports injuries (vs home, OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.78). Preinjury psychiatric conditions and gender remained significant in analysis of multiply imputed data. Conclusions Unintentional injury results in substantial productivity loss. Females, those with preinjury psychiatric conditions and those with post-traumatic stress avoidance symptoms experience greater productivity loss and may require additional support to enable successful RTW.

© Kellezi B, Dhiman P, Coupland C, Whitehead J, Morriss R, Joseph S, Beckett K, Sleney J, Barnes J, Kendrick D, Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention, 2022 Apr; Vol. 28 (2), pp. 131-140