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Trouble musculosquelettique

Mars 2024

Purpose The objective was to identify modifiable prognostic factors of high societal costs among people on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders, and to identify modifiable prognostic factors of high costs related to separately healthcare utilisation and productivity loss. Methods Design: A prospective cohort study with a 1-year follow-up. Participants and setting: A total of 549 participants (aged 18-67 years) on sick leave (>= 4 weeks) due to musculoskeletal disorders in Norway were included. Outcome measures and method: The primary outcome was societal costs aggregated for 1 year of follow-up and dichotomised as high or low, defined by the top 25th percentile. Secondary outcomes were high costs related to separately healthcare utilisation and productivity loss aggregated for 1 year of follow-up. Healthcare utilisation was collected from public records and included primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare use. Productivity loss was collected from public records and included absenteeism, work assessment allowance and disability pension. Nine modifiable prognostic factors were selected based on previous literature. Univariable and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were performed to identify associations (crude and adjusted for selected covariates) between each modifiable prognostic factor and having high costs. Results Adjusted for selected covariates, six modifiable prognostic factors associated with high societal costs were identified: pain severity, disability, self-perceived health, sleep quality, return to work expectation and long-lasting disorder expectation. Depressive symptoms, work satisfaction and health literacy showed no prognostic value. More or less similar results were observed when high costs were related to separately healthcare utilisation and productivity loss. Conclusion Factors identified in this study are potential target areas for interventions which could reduce high societal costs among people on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. However, future research aimed at replicating these findings is warranted.

© Killingmo RM; Tveter AT; Pripp AH; Tingulstad A; Maas E; Rysstad T; Grotle M.  BMJ Open. 14(3):e080567, 2024 Mar 01.

Purpose This study examines the relationship between functional disability and work ability in workers affected by low back pain (LBP) through an analysis of correlations between the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Work Ability Index (WAI). The role of personal and work factors on functional disability/work ability levels has also been studied. LBP is the most common musculoskeletal problem and a major disabling health problem worldwide. Its etiology is multifactorial. Multidisciplinary approaches may help reduce the burden of pain and disability and improve job continuity and reintegration at work. Methods A cohort of 264 patients affected by LBP from an Italian outpatient clinic were included in a clinical diagnostic/therapeutic trial aiming at rehabilitation and return to work through an integrated investigation protocol. Data were collected during the first medical examination using anamnestic and clinical tools. The final sample is composed of 252 patients, 57.1% man, 44.0 % blue collars, 46.4% with the high school degree, 45.6% married. Results WAI and ODI reported a negative and fair correlation (r = -0.454; p = .000). Workers with acute LBP symptoms have a higher probability of severe disability than those with chronic LBP symptoms. White collars without depressive symptoms reported higher work ability - even in chronic disability conditions-than those with depressive symptoms. Conclusion The study found that ODI and WAI have a convergent validity and this suggests that the two tools measure capture distinctive aspects of disability related to personal, environmental, and occupational characteristics. The most important and modifiable prognostic factors found for ODI and WAI were depressive symptoms, workday absence, and intensity of back pain. The study also found a mild association between age and ODI. The study's findings highlight the importance of using a multidisciplinary approach to manage and prevent disability due to LBP.

© Russo F; Di Tecco C; Russo S; Petrucci G; Vadala G; Denaro V; Iavicoli S.  Safety and Health at Work. 15(1):66-72, 2024 Mar.

Février 2024

Purpose The aim was to evaluate if rehabilitation procedures including occupational health (OH) and workplace participation increase return to work (RTW) rates among patients with subacute and chronic low back pain (LBP). Methods A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was conducted using the PubMed and Cochrane databases. Main outcomes were RTW and days of sick leave. Interventions needed to be multidisciplinary including both OH and active workplace involvement in rehabilitation. Results Out of 1073 potentially eligible references, 8 met the inclusion criteria. Three studies had OH and 5 case managers involved in rehabilitation. Rehabilitation involving both OH and workplace improved RTW and decreased the number of sick leave days among LBP patients. Having case managers involved had no effect in RTW. In order to improve RTW, workplace visits and work ability meetings (WAMs) between OH and workplace are essential components in the rehabilitation process among patients with chronic LBP. Conclusion Based on the study results, the authors suggest utilizing these co-operative interventions with workplaces in OH. High quality research investigating only the effect of WAMs in OH setting is needed in future.

© Kokkonen V; Lamminpaa A; Reijula K; Russo F; Iavicoli S; Denaro V; Kuoppala J. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health. 2024 Jan 25.

Janvier 2024

Purpose A comprehensive review of the literature on the time between the onset of symptoms and the first episode of care and its effects on important worker outcomes in compensated musculoskeletal conditions is currently lacking. This scoping review aimed to summarize the factors associated with time to service and describe outcomes in workers with workers' compensation accepted claims for musculoskeletal conditions. Methods We used the JBI guidelines for scoping reviews and reported following the PRISMA-ScR protocol. We included peer-reviewed articles published in English that measured the timing of health service initiation. We conducted searches in six databases, including Medline (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), PsycINFO, Cinahl Plus (EBSCOhost), Scopus, and the Web of Science. Peer-reviewed articles published up to November 01, 2022 were included. The evidence was summarized using a narrative synthesis. Results Out of the 3502 studies identified, 31 were included. Eight studies reported the factors associated with time to service. Male workers, availability of return to work programmes, physically demanding occupations, and greater injury severity were associated with a shorter time to service, whereas female workers, a high number of employees in the workplace, and having legal representation were associated with a longer time to service. The relationship between time service and worker outcomes was observed in 25 studies, with early access to physical therapy and biopsychosocial interventions indicating favourable outcomes. Conversely, early opioids, and MRI in the absence of severe underlying conditions were associated with a longer duration of disability, higher claim costs, and increased healthcare utilization. Conclusion Existing evidence suggests that the time to service for individuals with compensated musculoskeletal conditions was found to be associated with several characteristics. The relationship between time to service and worker outcomes was consistently indicated in the majority of the studies. This review highlights the need to consider patient-centred treatments and develop strategies to decrease early services with negative effects and increase access to early services with better outcomes.

© Mekonnen TH; Di Donato M; Collie A; Russell G. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2024 Jan 12.

Purpose To evaluate the effectiveness of telerehabilitation for promoting return-to-work (RTW) among injured workers. Methods We conducted a pragmatic, quasi-experimental study comparing telerehabilitation, in-person, or hybrid services. Descriptive statistics analyzed demographics, occupational factors, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Kruskal-Wallis tests investigated differences between mode of delivery and changes in PROM scores. Logistic and Cox-proportional hazard regression examined associations between mode of delivery and RTW status or days receiving wage replacement benefits in the first-year post-discharge, respectively, while controlling for potential confounders. Results A slightly higher percentage of the 3,708 worker sample were male (52.8%). Mean (standard deviation (SD)) age across all delivery formats was 45.5 (12.5) years. Edmonton zone had the highest amount of telerehabilitation delivery (53.5%). The majority of workers had their program delivered in a hybrid format (54.1%) and returned to work (74.4%) at discharge. All PROMs showed improvement although differences across delivery formats were not clinically meaningful. Delivery via telerehabilitation had significantly lower odds of RTW at discharge (Odds Ratio: 0.82, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.70-0.97) and a significantly lower risk of experiencing suspension of wage replacement benefits in the first year following discharge (Hazard Ratio: 0.92, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.84-0.99). Associations were no longer significant when confounders were controlled for. Conclusion RTW outcomes were not statistically different across delivery formats, suggesting that telerehabilitation is a novel strategy that may improve equitable access and earlier engagement in occupational rehabilitation. Factors such as gender and geographic location should be considered when deciding on service delivery format.

© Brehon K; Nagra G; Miciak M; Niemelainen R; Gross DP. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2024 Jan 24.

Décembre 2023

Purpose The digital app SWEPPE (sustainable worker, a digital support for persons with chronic pain and their employers) was developed to improve the support of people with chronic pain in their return-to-work process after sick leave and includes functions such as the action plan, daily self-rating, self-monitoring graphs, the coach, the library, and shared information with the employer. This study aims to describe the use of the smartphone app SWEPPE among people with chronic pain who have participated in an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program. Methods This is a case study including 16 people participating in a feasibility study. The analyses were based on user data collected for 3 months. Quantitative data regarding used functions were analyzed with descriptive statistics, and qualitative data of identified needs of support from the employer were grouped into 8 categories. Results Self-monitoring was used by all participants (median 26, IQR 8-87 daily registrations). A total of 11 (N=16, 69%) participants set a work-related goal and performed weekly evaluations of goal fulfillment and ratings of their work ability. In total, 9 (56%) participants shared information with their employer and 2 contacted the coach. A total of 15 (94%) participants identified a total of 51 support interventions from their employer. Support to adapt to work assignments and support to adapt to work posture were the 2 biggest categories. The most common type of support identified by 53% (8/15) of the participants was the opportunity to take breaks and short rests. Conclusions Participants used multiple SWEPPE functions, such as daily self-registration, goal setting, self-monitoring, and employer support identification. This shows the flexible nature of SWEPPE, enabling individuals to select functions that align with their needs. Additional research is required to investigate the extended use of SWEPPE and how employers use shared employee information.

© Turesson C; Liedberg G; Bjork M. JMIR Human Factors. 10:e52088, 2023 Dec 11.

Novembre 2023

Purpose Firefighters perform dangerous and physically demanding work, increasing their risk of musculoskeletal injuries that can lead to work absences. Return-to-work procedures can help firefighters return-to-work sooner and safely. The purpose of this study was to explore what firefighters understand about return-to-work procedures in their workplaces, and what firefighters believe the facilitators and barriers to return-to-work are. Methods Thirty-eight Canadian career firefighters were recruited for semi-structured interviews. Qualitative descriptive methods were used to analyze the transcripts. Two researchers performed the inductive coding and thematic analysis. Results Five themes were identified: 1. Variation in the return-to-work process knowledge among firefighters based on their experiences; 2. Accessible medical resources and treatments to support injury recovery; 3. Light duties must be meaningful and suitable; 4. Pressures to return-to-work too soon may lead to negative consequences; and 5. Heavy physical demands of firefighting may become a barrier for return-to-work. 'Factors affecting RTW depended on personal experiences and context' was the overarching theme identified, as many reported facilitators for return-to-work were also reported as barriers in different contexts. There was a variation in the experiences and understanding of return-to-work. Conclusion There is a lack of knowledge of the return-to-work processes. Firefighters require access to clear return-to-work policies and procedures and treatments that are targeted to firefighting duties to support recovery from injuries and regain physical abilities after an injury. Firefighters must be able to perform all essential duties before returning to firefighting work, as returning to work too soon can lead to further injury.

© Killip SC; MacDermid JC; Thayalan N; Lomotan M; Gewurtz RE; Sinden KE. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2023 Nov 08.

Purpose Interdisciplinary treatment is a widely implemented strategy for the rehabilitation of patients with chronic pain. A primary treatment objective is to decrease the load on the social insurance system; however, it is questionable whether interdisciplinary treatment reduces sickness absence and disability pension (SA/DP). This register-based observational study compared SA and DP between patients in interdisciplinary treatment and unspecified interventions. Methods With data from 7,752 Swedish specialist health care patients in their prime working age, we analyzed total net SA/DP days over 3 years from the first visit to a pain rehabilitation center. A zero-one-inflated beta model, adjusted for theoretically substantiated confounders, was used to estimate the mean differences in total days and the proportions of patients with both zero and maximum days. Results Compared with unspecified interventions, interdisciplinary treatment resulted in a mean (95% confidence interval) absolute increase of 50 (37, 62) total days, a 13.0% (11.3%, 14.6%) decrease in patients with zero days, and a 1.5% (.2%, 2.8%) decrease in patients with the maximum days. Conclusion These findings support that interdisciplinary treatment increases SA/DP compared to less intensive interventions but reduces the risk of maximum days, implying that it is advantageous for patients with the highest absence. This highlights the need for improved patient selection procedures and the adaptation of interdisciplinary treatment programs to more adequately target SA/DP reduction. Perspectives: This study provides an accessible overview of SA/DP among working-age patients with chronic pain in Swedish specialist health care. It also shows that interdisciplinary treatment does not decrease SA/DP more than alternative treatments in most patients but is advantageous for the patients with the longest absence.

© LoMartire R; Johansson P; Frumento P. Journal of Pain. 24(11):2003-2013, 2023 11.

Purpose Medicines are often prescribed to workers with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and injuries to relieve pain and facilitate their recovery and return to work. However, there is a growing concern that prescription medicines may have adverse effects on work function. This scoping review aimed to summarize the existing empirical evidence on prescription medicine use by workers with MSD or injury and its relationship with work-related outcomes. Methods We identified studies through structured searching of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane library databases, and via searching of dissertations, theses, and grey literature databases. Studies that examined the association between prescription medicine and work-related outcomes in working age people with injury or MSDs, and were published in English after the year 2000 were eligible. Results From the 4884 records identified, 65 studies were included for review. Back disorders and opioids were the most commonly studied musculoskeletal conditions and prescription medicines, respectively. Most studies showed a negative relationship between prescription medicines and work outcomes. Opioids, psychotropics and their combination were the most common medicines associated with adverse work outcomes. Opioid prescriptions with early initiation, long-term use, strong and/or high dose and extended pre- and post-operative use in workers' compensation setting were consistently associated with adverse work function. We found emerging but inconsistent evidence that skeletal muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were associated with unfavorable work outcomes. Conclusion Opioids and other prescription medicines might be associated with adverse work outcomes. However, the evidence is conflicting and there were relatively fewer studies on non-opioid medicines. Further studies with more robust design are required to enable more definitive exploration of causal relationships and settle inconsistent evidence.

© Tefera YG; Gray S; Nielsen S; Gelaw A; Collie A. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2023 Nov 07.

Purpose This study evaluates the six-month cost-effectiveness and cost-benefits of motivational interviewing (MI) or a stratified vocational advice intervention (SVAI) added to usual case management (UC) for workers on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. Methods This study was conducted alongside a three-arm RCT including 514 employed workers on sick leave for at least 50% for >= 7 weeks. All participants received UC. The UC + MI group received two MI sessions, and the UC + SVAI group received 1-4 SVAI sessions. Sickness absence days, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and societal costs were measured between baseline and six months. Results Adding MI to UC, resulted in incremental cost-reduction of -2580EUR (95%CI -5687;612), and a reduction in QALYs of -0.001 (95%CI -0.02;0.01). Secondly, adding MI to UC resulted in an incremental cost-reduction of -538EUR (95%CI -1358;352), and reduction of 5.08 (95%CI -3.3;13.5) sickness-absence days. Financial return estimates were positive, but not statistically significant. Adding SVAI to UC, resulted in an incremental cost-reduction of -2899 EUR (95% CI -5840;18), and a reduction in QALYs of 0.002 (95% CI -0.02;0.01). Secondly, adding SVAI to UC resulted in an statistically significant incremental cost-reduction of -695 EUR (95% CI -1459;-3), and a reduction of 7.9 (95% CI -0.04;15.9) sickness absence days. Financial return estimates were positive and statistically significant. The probabilities of cost-effectiveness for QALYs were high for adding MI or SVAI (ceiling ratio 0.90). Conclusions In comparison to UC only, adding MI to UC tends to be cost-effective. Adding SVAI to UC is cost-effective for workers on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders.

© Tingulstad A; Maas ET; Rysstad T; Oiestad BE; Aanesen F; Pripp AH; Van Tulder MW; Grotle M. Journal of Occupational Medicine & Toxicology. 18(1):25, 2023 Nov 14.

Purpose To explore the intensity and variation of workers' worries, pain, psychosocial factors, and margin of manoeuvre before and after a return-to-work program, and identified the psychosocial factors associated with non-return to work at the end of the rehabilitation program. Methods A pre-post study design was used. A convenience sample of 80 workers starting a return-to-work program and having a compensated musculoskeletal injury that caused an absence of more than three months from their regular work was recruited. Data were collected at baseline and at the end of the rehabilitation program on the nature of the worries and maintenance factors defined in Dugas' generalized anxiety and worry model, using validated questionnaires. The margin of manoeuvre was assessed by the treating occupational therapist. A series of descriptive analyses were performed, as well as Generalized Estimating Equations analyses. Results Workers' worries were work-related or disability-related 83% of the time at baseline. These worries were essentially based on the situation then occurring at work 90% of the time. For the Generalized Estimating Equations analyses on work status, the final model was significant, explaining 54% of the variance in non-return to work (Pseudo R2 = 0.54; p = 0.0001). Workers were 8.52 times less likely to return to work when the margin of manoeuvre was insufficient, and twice as likely not to return to work in the presence of intense worry. Worries were significantly associated with insufficient margin of manoeuvre. Conclusion A strong association between workers' lack of margin of manoeuvre at work and their worries about their return to work, and poor work outcomes, supports the importance of the worker-environment interaction in rehabilitation programs.

© Coutu MF; Durand MJ; O'Hagan F; Gosselin P; Nastasia I; Berbiche D; Labrecque ME; Pettigrew S; Bordeleau M. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2023 Nov 23.

Octobre 2023

Purpose Currently, there is no standard procedure for a return to work (RTW) rehabilitation program used by practitioners. The aim is to investigate the efficacy of occupational rehabilitation programs for workers with back pain. Methods Two independent reviewers screened abstracts and full-text articles in a systematic literature search in three databases conducted in 2023. Subsequently, they extracted data according to the PRISMA Statement. Results Among the 4,010 articles retrieved, 20 met the inclusion criteria. Data from accepted studies were abstracted into tables relating to the RTW, improvement of pain intensity, quality of life (QOL), and degree of disability in persons with back pain. The risk of bias was assessed using the (SIGN)-criteria. Significant improvements in RTW were shown by a workplace intervention with a physical approach and a multidisciplinary intervention but with a wide range of effect sizes. Five studies showed significant improvements in pain intensity and QOL, six studies observed significant improvements in disability. Conclusion The studies that stated positive effects on work-related data differed between intervention programs and traditional care. A combination of activity, maintenance therapy, stretching, and manual therapy showed promising results in improving RTW. In addition, the relationship and mediation between employer/workplace and employee seems to be an important aspect of RTW. However, pain intensity, disability, and QOL were enhanced with interventions that included a high proportion of physical activity. However, the intervention programs differed widely, leading to the assumption that the treatment effect of the intervention programs is not established, yet.

© Kalski, L., Völkel, L., Häußler, S., & Wolfarth, B. (2023). Work 1-15.

Purpose Musculoskeletal disorders and injuries (MSDI) are conditions that affect the locomotor system characterized by pain and impairment of functionality. They are the leading cause of years lived with disability. The aim of this study was to analyze the factors that influence the return to work (RTW) among workers on sick leave due to MSDI. Methods A longitudinal study was conducted in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 2020-2022. The participants were 216 workers who required social security compensation due to MSDI. They filled out online questionnaires about their sociodemographic characteristics, health risk behaviors, work characteristics and health conditions. They were followed for 365 days after their first day of sick leave. A Cox regression was performed to identify the factors that influenced their first RTW. Results Most participants were male (53.0%), mean age was 39.5 years (SD 10.6), 70.4% returned to work within the one-year follow-up period. The mean duration of sick leave was 192.6 days. Factors associated with a lower RTW were age 40 years and older (HR 0.54; 95%CI 0.39-0.76) and the interaction between perceptions of the need for improvement in the physical and psychological domains of quality of life (HR 0.67; 95%CI 0.48-0.94). Conclusions Occupational healthcare professionals should pay greater attention to patients who are aging and those with perceived worse physical and psychological conditions, in order to facilitate the reintegration process and promote sustained RTW after sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorder or injury.

© Silva-Junior JS; Martinez MC; Sekiya FS; de Miranda CB; Fischer FM. BMC Public Health. 23(1):1881, 2023 09 28.

Purpose Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD) are the most common causes of disability worldwide and are associated with significant use of healthcare. One way to optimize the clinical outcomes of injured workers receiving rehabilitation is to identify and address individual prognostic factors (PF), which can facilitate the personalization of the treatment plan. As there is no pragmatic and systematic method to collect prognostic-related data, the purpose of the study was to develop and assess the acceptability of a set of questionnaires to establish the "prognostic profile" of workers with WRMD. Methods We utilized a multistep process to inform the acceptability of the Measures Associated to PrognoStic (MAPS) questionnaire. During STEP-1, a preliminary version of the was developed through a literature search followed by an expert consensus including a patient-advisor. During STEP-2, future users (rehabilitation professionals, healthcare administrators and compensation officers) were consulted through an online survey and were asked to rate the relevance of each content item; items that obtained >=80% of "totally agree" answers were included. They were also asked to prioritize PF according to their usefulness for clinical decision-making, as well as perceived efficacy to enhance the treatment plan. Results The questionnaire was developed with three categories: the outcome predicted, the unique PF, and prognostic tools. Personal PF (i.e.: coping strategies, fear-avoidance beliefs), pain related PF (i.e.: pain intensity/severity, duration of pain), and work-related PF (i.e.: work physical demands, work accommodations) were identified to be totally relevant and included in the questionnaire. 84% of the respondents agreed that their patients could complete the MAPS questionnaire in their clinical setting, while 75% totally agreed that the questionnaire is useful to personalize rehabilitation interventions. Conclusion The MAPS questionnaire was deemed acceptable to establish the "prognostic profile" of injured workers and help the clinicians in the treatment decision-making process.

© Tousignant-Laflamme Y; Houle C; Longtin C; Desmarais N; Gerard T; Perreault K; Lagueux E; Tetreault P; Blanchette MA; Beaudry H; Decary S. Physiotherapy Research International. e2053, 2023 Oct 07.

Septembre 2023

Purpose Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) remain a challenge despite research aimed at improving their prevention and treatment. Extrinsic feedback has been suggested for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs to improve sensorimotor control, and ultimately to reduce pain and disability. However, there are few systematic reviews on the effectiveness of extrinsic feedback for WRMSDs. Objective: To perform a systematic review investigating the effect of extrinsic feedback for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs. Methods Five databases (CINAHL, Embase, Ergonomics Abstract, PsycInfo, PubMed) were searched. Studies of various designs assessing the effects of extrinsic feedback during work tasks on three outcomes (function, symptoms, sensorimotor control) in the context of prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs were included. Results Forty-nine studies were included, for a total sample of 3387 participants (including 925 injured) who performed work-related tasks in the workplace (27 studies) or in controlled environments (22 studies). The use of extrinsic feedback was shown to be effective in controlled environments for short-term prevention of functional limitations and sensorimotor alterations (very limited to moderate evidence) and for improving, in injured participants, function, symptoms and sensorimotor control (moderate evidence). In the workplace, it was shown to be effective for short-term prevention of functional limitations (limited evidence). There was conflicting evidence regarding its effect for WRMSD rehabilitation in the workplace. Conclusion Extrinsic feedback is an interesting complementary tool for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs in controlled environments. More evidence is needed regarding its effect for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs in the workplace.

© Frasie A; Houry M; Plourde C; Robert MT; Bouyer LJ; Roy JS. Work. 76(1):61-94, 2023.

Purpose Sick leave and decreased ability to work are the consequences of chronic pain. Interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs (IPRPs) aim to improve health-related quality of life and participation in work activities, although implementing rehabilitation strategies at work after IPRPs can be difficult. Employers' knowledge about pain and the role of rehabilitation needs to be strengthened. The self-management of chronic pain can be improved through eHealth interventions. However, these interventions do not involve communicating with employers to improve work participation. To address this deficiency, a new eHealth intervention, Sustainable Worker Digital Support for Persons with Chronic Pain and Their Employers (SWEPPE), was developed. This study aimed to describe the acceptability of SWEPPE after IPRPs from the perspective of patients with chronic pain and their employers. Methods This study included 11 patients and 4 employers who were recruited to test SWEPPE in daily life for 3 months after IPRPs. Data were collected using individual interviews at the end of the 3-month test period and questionnaires, which were completed when SWEPPE was introduced (questionnaire 1) and at a 3-month follow-up (questionnaire 2). Data were also collected on how often SWEPPE was used. Qualitative data were analyzed through a qualitative content analysis using an abductive approach. The framework used for the deductive approach was the theoretical framework of acceptability. Quantitative data were analyzed through descriptive statistics and the differences between the responses to questionnaires 1 and questionnaire 2 using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results Both patients and employers reported that SWEPPE increased their knowledge and understanding of how to improve work participation and helped them identify goals, barriers, and strategies for return to work. In addition, participants noted that SWEPPE improved employer-employee communication and collaboration. However, experiences and ratings varied among participants and the different SWEPPE modules. The acceptability of SWEPPE was lower in patients who experienced significant pain and fatigue. A high degree of flexibility and choice of ratings in SWEPPE were generally described as helpful. Conclusions This study shows promising results on the user acceptability of SWEPPE from both patient and employer perspectives. However, the variations among patients and modules indicate a need for further testing and research to refine the content and identify the group of patients who will best benefit from SWEPPE.

© Svanholm F; Turesson C; Lofgren M; Bjork M. JMIR Human Factors. 10:e46878, 2023 Sep 28.

Août 2023

Purpose Work and health are a national priority in Norway, and leading health authorities call for treatment approaches that incorporate these perspectives. We have little knowledge of how physiotherapists in private practice integrate the work perspective during the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Thus, the purpose of this study was to gain more insight into the way physiotherapists in Norway integrate the aspect of work. Methods In 2021, all 2650 privately practising members of the Norwegian Physiotherapist Association received a web-based survey that was answered by 514 physiotherapists. The survey included questions about treatment approaches, competencies, and collaboration with other health professionals in the context of promoting work participation. Results 91% of the physiotherapists reported that they play an important role in assessing work ability. 75% were confident in assessing the patients' work ability, while 25% stated that they have little or some competence. 49% of the physiotherapists often contacted the general practitioner (GP) to discuss patients' ability to work, and 19% were often contacted by the GP. Only 14% stated that they were invited to participate in dialogue meetings with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. 28% of the physiotherapists reported that insufficient knowledge about social security issues was an obstacle in promoting the patient's work participation. The physiotherapists believed that increased use of standardised assessment tools, better knowledge of social security issues, and closer collaboration with other professionals may strengthen their role in promoting work participation. Conclusion Although physiotherapists promote work participation when treating patients on sick leave, limited communication with the stakeholders, and inadequate knowledge of social security issues pose an obstacle. To strengthen the physiotherapist's role in the return-to-work facilitation, work and health should become a separate subject in basic and advanced education programmes for physiotherapists.

© Ask T; Dragesund T; Magnussen LH; Eland ND. Physiotherapy Research International. e2045, 2023 Aug 16.

Juillet 2023

Purpose Work-related injuries affect a considerable number of people each year and represent a significant burden for society. To reduce this burden, optimizing rehabilitation care by integrating prognostic factors (PF) into the clinical decision-making process is a promising way to improve clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to identify PF specific to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Methods We performed an overview of systematic reviews reporting on PF that had the following outcomes of interest: Return to work, pain, disability, functional status, or poor outcomes. Each extracted PF was categorized according to its level of evidence (grade A or B) and whether it was modifiable or not. The risk of bias of each study was assessed with the ROBIS tool. Results We retrieved 757 citations from 3 databases. After removing 307 duplicates, 450 records were screened, and 20 studies were retained. We extracted a total of 20 PF with a Grade A recommendation, where 7 were deemed modifiable, 11 non-modifiable and 2 were index test. For example, return to work expectations, previous sick leave, delay in referral and pain intensity were found to be predictors of return-to-work outcomes. We also identified 17 PF with a Grade B recommendation, where 11 were deemed modifiable. For example, poor general health, negative recovery expectations, coping and fear-avoidance beliefs, pain severity, and particularly physical work were found to predict return to work outcomes. Conclusion We found numerous modifiable PFs that can help clinicians personalize their treatment plan beyond diagnostic-related information for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

© Tousignant-Laflamme Y; Houle C; Longtin C; Gerard T; Lagueux E; Perreault K; Beaudry H; Tetreault P; Blanchette MA; Decary S. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice. 66:102825, 2023 Jul 12.

Purpose To determine the prospective association of pain coping strategies and symptoms of anxiety and depression with work absenteeism in people with upper limb musculoskeletal disorders. Methods A systematic search of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases was conducted from inception to September 23, 2022. Prospective observational studies of adults with upper limb musculoskeletal disorders were included. Included studies had to provide data on the association of pain coping strategies (catastrophizing, kinesiophobia, self-efficacy or fear avoidance) or symptoms of anxiety and depression with work absenteeism. Study selection, data extraction and assessment of methodological quality (Newcastle Ottawa Scale) were performed by two independent authors. Random-effects models were used for quantitative synthesis. Results Eighteen studies (n=12,393 participants) were included. Most studies (77.8%) reported at least one significant association between one or more exposure factors (pain coping strategies or symptoms of anxiety and depression) and work absenteeism. Meta-analyses showed a statistically significant correlation between the exposure factors of catastrophizing (r=0.28, 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.40; p<0.0001) and symptoms of anxiety and depression (r=0.23, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.34; p=0.0003) with work absenteeism. The correlation between self-efficacy and work absenteeism was non-significant (r=0.24, 95% CI: -0.02 to 0.47; p=0.0747). Conclusions Rehabilitation teams should consider assessing catastrophizing and symptoms of anxiety and depression to identify patients at risk for work absenteeism. Addressing these variables may also be considered in return-to-work programs for individuals with upper limb disorders.

© Nunez-Cortes R; Espin A; Perez-Alenda S; Lopez-Bueno R; Cruz-Montecinos C; Vincents-Seeberg KG; Puschel TA; Calatayud J; Andersen LL. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.  2023 Jul 23.

Mai 2023

Purpose Active patient engagement and adherence are essential for successful rehabilitation outcomes, particularly in complex cases such as work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Although the therapist-patient relationship is a significant component of successful care coordination, there has been limited examination of this relationship within upper extremity musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Objective: To explore therapists' perspectives on how the therapist-patient relationship intersects with engagement and adherence in the provision of holistic and collaborative rehabilitation services. Methods Data were collected from four therapists over three months. Descriptive statistics were generated from the Sport Injury Rehabilitation Adherence Scale (SIRAS) and the Rehabilitation Therapy Engagement Scale (RTES) completed by therapists following visits from a sub-sample of patients (n = 14). Weekly semi-structured group interviews (n = 13) were analyzed using an iterative grounded theory-informed process. Emerging themes were identified, refined, and situated within the context of quantitative results. Results SIRAS scores averaged 14.4 (SD: 1.0) and RTES scores averaged 42.5 (SD: 3.5), indicating high perceived patient engagement and adherence. Four themes emerged from therapist interviews: (1) dynamic power; (2) co-constructed engagement; (3) emotional states; (4) complementary therapy contexts. Conclusion In this engaged and adherent setting, therapist-patient relationships were complex and intimate, and extended beyond education and physical interventions. Careful management of this relationship was central to active patient participation and engagement. Incorporating holistic techniques may provide more structure for managing and communicating these aspects of care. These findings provide a preliminary understanding of the impact of therapeutic relationships on engagement and collaborative care.

© Loomis KJ; Roll SC; Hardison ME. Work, 2023 May 20.

Avril 2023

Purpose Return to work (RTW) may be facilitated by motivational interviewing (MI), a counseling style designed to increase motivation towards behavior change. MI's relevance in a RTW context remains however unclear. Exploring how, for whom and in what circumstances MI works is therefore necessary. Methods Eighteen people (29-60 years; sick leave > 12 weeks) with low back pain (LBP) or medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) participated in a semi-structured interview after one MI consultation. We conducted a realist-informed process evaluation to explore MI's mechanisms of impact, its outcomes and how external factors may influence these. Data were coded using thematic analysis. Results Main mechanisms were supporting autonomy, communicating with empathy and respect, facilitating feelings of competence and focusing on RTW solutions instead of hindrances. Competence support was more salient among LBP patients, whereas MUS patients benefited more from empathy and understanding. External factors were mentioned to have impacted MI's effectiveness and/or the further RTW process, being personal (e.g. acceptance of the condition), work-related (e.g. supervisor support) and societal (e.g. possibility of gradual RTW). Conclusions These results stress the importance of self-determination theory's support for autonomy, relatedness and competence, together with a solution-focused approach when stimulating patients' engagement regarding RTW. These mechanisms' instalment during RTW counseling and their long-term impact depends on both personal and system-like external factors. Belgium's social security system's premise, based on control, might actually hinder RTW instead of facilitating it. Further longitudinal research could explore MI's long-term effects as well as its complex interaction with external factors.

© Rymenans, I; Vanovenberghe, C; Du Bois, M; Van den Broeck, A; Lauwerier, E. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 Apr 02.

Purpose Chronic pain is a complex health problem affecting about one-fifth of the European population. It is a leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide, with serious personal, relational and socioeconomic consequences. Chronic pain and sick leave adversely affect health and quality of life. Thus, understanding this phenomenon is essential for reducing suffering, understanding the need for support and promoting a rapid return to work and an active lifestyle. This study aimed to describe and interpret persons' experiences of being on sick leave due to chronic pain. MethodsDesign: A qualitative study with semistructured interviews analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. Setting: Participants were recruited from a community setting in Sweden. Participants: Fourteen participants (12 women) with experiences of part-time or full-time sick leave from work due to chronic pain were included in the study. Results Suffering out of sight but not out of mind was the main theme of the qualitative analysis. This theme implies that the participants' constant suffering was invisible to others, causing them to feel they were not being justly treated in society. Feeling overlooked led to a continuous struggle for recognition. Moreover, the participants' identities and their trust in themselves and their bodies were challenged. However, our study also revealed a nuanced understanding of the experiences of sick leave as a consequence of chronic pain, where the participants learnt important lessons, including coping strategies and re-evaluated priorities. Conclusions Being on sick leave due to chronic pain threatens a person's integrity and leads to substantial suffering. An enhanced understanding of the meaning of sick leave due to chronic pain provides important considerations for their care and support. This study highlights the importance of feeling acknowledged and being met with justice in encounters with others.

© Lundin A; Ekman I; Wallstrom S; Andrell P; Lundberg M. BMJ Open.13(4):e066617, 2023 Apr 11.

Mars 2023

Purpose To investigate whether and to what extent, return to work (RTW) expectancy and workability mediate the effect of two vocational interventions on reducing sickness absence in workers on sick leave from a musculoskeletal condition. Methods This is a preplanned mediation analysis of a three-arm parallel randomised controlled trial which included 514 employed working adults with musculoskeletal conditions on sick leave for at least 50% of their contracted work hours for ...7 weeks. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1:1) to one of three treatment arms; usual case management (UC) (n=174), UC plus motivational interviewing (MI) (n=170) and UC plus a stratified vocational advice intervention (SVAI) (n=170). The primary outcome was the number of sickness absence days over 6...months from randomisation. Hypothesised mediators included RTW expectancy and workability assessed 12 weeks after randomisation. Results The mediated effect of the MI arm compared with UC on sickness absence days through RTW expectancy was -4.98 days (-8.89 to -1.04), and workability was -3.17 days (-8.55 to 2.32). The mediated effect of the SVAI arm compared with UC on sickness absence days through RTW expectancy was -4.39 days (-7.60 to -1.47), and workability was -3.21 days (-7.90 to 1.50). The mediated effects for workability were not statistically significant. Conclusions Our study provides new evidence for the mechanisms of vocational interventions to reduce sickness absence related to sick leave due to musculoskeletal conditions. Changing an individual's expectation that RTW is likely may result in meaningful reductions in sickness absence days.

© Cashin AG; ..iestad BE; Aanesen F; Storheim K; Tingulstad A; Rysstad TL; Lee H; McAuley JH; Sowden G; Wynne-Jones G; Tveter AT; Grotle M.  Occupational & Environmental Medicine.  2023 Mar 02.

Purpose Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) remain a challenge despite research aimed at improving their prevention and treatment. Extrinsic feedback has been suggested for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs to improve sensorimotor control, and ultimately to reduce pain and disability. However, there are few systematic reviews on the effectiveness of extrinsic feedback for WRMSDs. Objective: To perform a systematic review investigating the effect of extrinsic feedback for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs. Methods Five databases (CINAHL, Embase, Ergonomics Abstract, PsycInfo, PubMed) were searched. Studies of various designs assessing the effects of extrinsic feedback during work tasks on three outcomes (function, symptoms, sensorimotor control) in the context of prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs were included. Results Forty-nine studies were included, for a total sample of 3387 participants (including 925 injured) who performed work-related tasks in the workplace (27 studies) or in controlled environments (22 studies). The use of extrinsic feedback was shown to be effective in controlled environments for short-term prevention of functional limitations and sensorimotor alterations (very limited to moderate evidence) and for improving, in injured participants, function, symptoms and sensorimotor control (moderate evidence). In the workplace, it was shown to be effective for short-term prevention of functional limitations (limited evidence). There was conflicting evidence regarding its effect for WRMSD rehabilitation in the workplace. Conclusion Extrinsic feedback is an interesting complementary tool for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs in controlled environments. More evidence is needed regarding its effect for the prevention and rehabilitation of WRMSDs in the workplace.

© Frasie A; Houry M; Plourde C; Robert MT; Bouyer LJ; Roy JS.  Work.  2023 Feb 27.

Purpose Recovery after fractures due to accidents relates to all aspects of the biopsychosocial model. Therefore, it is difficult for the patients to foresee the consequences of the fractures. This study aimed to examine 1) patients' expectations regarding the impact of the injury on everyday life, 2) predictive validity of their expectations after six months, and 3) factors that predict a return to work. Methods Patients were 18-64 years old and hospitalized with simple or compound/multiple fractures due to an accident. During admission, structured interviews were conducted with a questionnaire covering working conditions, expectations regarding recovery, sports, economy, family, household, and return to work. Additionally, mental and physical status were covered with Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire (SMFA) and Short Form 36, and working conditions were uncovered too. After six months, telephonic interviews were conducted with the 164 available patients to elucidate the impact of the fractures on everyday life, their health status, and sick leave. Likelihood ratios, post-test probabilities, and logistic regression analysis were performed to establish if patients' expectations predicted recovery, economy, sports, family, household, and return to work. Results Few patients' baseline expectations about everyday life were met. The likelihood ratios were small, and the post-test probabilities for expectations consistent with outcomes were between 18% and 68%, with recovery as the lowest and participation in sports as the highest. In the multivariate analysis, patients' expectations did not predict short-term (less than two months) or long-term sick leave (more than three months). Self-rated health and the bother index of SMFA were significant short-term and long-term predictors for sick leave. Additionally, vitality, pain, and decision latitude at work predicted sick leave of less than two months. Conclusion A few days after the accident, patients' expectations about everyday life are not associated with outcomes six months later. Likelihood ratios indicate difficulties for the patients in predicting fractures' consequences on various aspects of everyday life. Return to work was associated with self-rated health and the bother index of SMFA. Future research should examine if fracture patients can benefit from comprehensive, individual counseling during admission to set appropriate expectations.

© Lindahl M; Juneja H. Injury. 2023 Mar 10.

Purpose Upper limb disorders are one of the most common and important types of occupational injuries. Besides, identifying the factors influencing return to work following these injuries is essential to reduce the dimensions of the problem. In this study, we investigated the return to work and associated factors following occupational injuries leading to upper limb impairment. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, the rate of return to work and associated factors were assessed in 256 workers with work-related upper limb injury referred to a teaching hospital from March 2011 to December 2018. The inclusion criterion was a history of occupational injury resulting in upper limb impairment, and exclusion criteria included the presence of simultaneous impairment in other organs, congenital or non-occupational limb defects as well as patients with incomplete information in their medical records. Individuals' records, including age at the time of injury, gender, date of injury, marital status, education, level of amputation and injury, whole person impairment (WPI) and physiotherapy (prescribed by the physician) were reviewed. The WPI was calculated to assess the extent of the injury. All analyzes were performed by SPSS version 25.0. Results The rate of return to work was 54.3%, in which 51.8% for the same job and 48.2% for a new job. The main factors associated with non-return to work were more days off work (p = 0.001), higher injury severity (p = 0.001), and dominant hand injury (p = 0.034). Conclusion The number of days off work, the WPI, and dominant hand injury are the most important determinant in returning to work. In addition, increased job satisfaction and support from co-workers and employers are work-related factors that can lead to an increased return to work.

© Hosseininejad M; Javadifar S; Mohammadi S; Mirzamohammadi E. Chinese Journal of Traumatology. 26(2):77-82, 2023 Mar.

Purpose The literature predominantly advocates subjective perception of disability and pain as an outcome measure for the functional evaluation of patients with low back pain (LBP). Physical outcome measurements are almost completely ignored. In this systematic review, we focused on physical functional measurements that can contribute to the prediction of patients' return to work (RTW) readiness after sick leave or rehabilitation. Methods Searches were conducted in July 2022 without any time limit in the Cochrane Library, PEDro, PubMed and Scopus databases for functional and clinical tests reliable and applicable in clinical practice without demanding equipment. Two independent researchers extracted the data from the included articles in a standardised data collection form, and a third researcher validated the data extraction. No date restriction was applied. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines in conducting the review. Results We found seven original articles, including six with an impact on predicting RTW. We found four fair and three poor original studies fulfilling our criteria. We found the Back Performance Scale (BPS) and back endurance test to be the most promising tests for occupational health service and the clinical practitioner. Radiation of back pain, with or without neurological deficiencies, had some predictive value in terms of RTW, too. The working conditions vary a lot, which causes inconsistency in the studies and in their interpretation. Conclusion Functional tests could complete the widely used working ability evaluations methods such as the Work Ability Index (WAI) and are worth considering for future research. Overall, more research is needed in this field. The question of when LBP patients can resume everyday activities and work is not possible to determine with functional tests alone. Psychosocial aspects and work demands must be considered.

© Hurri H; Vanni T; Muttonen E; Russo F; Iavicoli S; Ristolainen L. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. 20(6), 2023 Mar 15.

Février 2023

Purpose Return-to-work processes involve many stakeholders who need to cooperate to best support the person on sick leave. Yet, there is little knowledge of how workers sick listed due to back pain experience navigating between stakeholders. This study aimed to explore how Danish workers on sick leave due to back pain experience navigating between the involved stakeholders, focusing on settings related to social work, health care and workplace. Methods Sixteen individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and data analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Results Analysis resulted in three themes. 1) 'Meeting the system" where establishing a positive relationship with the social worker was hampered by a negative perception of the job centre. This perception was initiated by the convening letter and accentuated by physical meetings being experienced as a waste of time. 2) In 'Navigating between systems' some participants lacked support from professionals to navigate the role as messenger between the job centre and health care system. 3) In 'The workplace - a familiar arena' workers experience the workplace as a familiar arena, even if negative decisions were made. Analysis additionally revealed that patients' return-to-work processes could be divided into two types, namely complex and smooth. Conclusion The initial contact from the job centre seems pivotal for the following return-to-work process. The main challenges experienced by sick listed workers were related to the job centre and to being a messenger between job centre and health care, not to their work place and the decisions made there.

© Poulsen AG; Rolving N; Hubeishy MH; Ortenblad L. Work.  2023 Feb 03.

Purpose Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is increasingly common in younger patients, who are more likely to be working preoperatively. There is a need for an updated review of the literature regarding the rate and time to return to work (RTW), which is important when counseling patients, and also from an economic standpoint. Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature was performed on January 20, 2022, and studies reporting the rate and/or time to RTW after THA were included. Two authors independently selected relevant papers. RTW was extracted and analyzed using fixed-effects or random-effects models where appropriate. Results A total of 48 studies were included in the final analysis. We found that 70.7% of patients were working after primary THA. Among patients who were working before surgery, this rate increases to 87.9%, while 28.1% of patients who were not working preoperatively started working after surgery. Younger patients were more likely to RTW, while patients with a physically demanding job were less likely to RTW. Minimally invasive techniques were reported to yield a higher rate of RTW and an earlier time to RTW. Conclusion We found that the majority of patients return to work after THA, and some patients are able to start working after surgery. Compared to previous reviews, patients seem to have a higher rate and earlier RTW. The overall trend of the literature suggests that patients are returning to work earlier and at a higher rate compared to previous reviews.

© Soleimani M; Babagoli M; Baghdadi S; Mirghaderi P; Fallah Y; Sheikhvatan M; Shafiei SH. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery. 18(1):95, 2023 Feb 12.

Purpose Interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs (IPRPs) help people with chronic pain improve their health and manage their work; however, the way IPRPs address sick leave could be improved. Although work interventions can be a part of IPRP, it is not well known how and to what extent. This study explores the frequency of work interventions and the characteristics of patients who participate in work interventions as part of IPRP at specialist pain rehabilitation departments in Sweden. In addition, this study explores the association between participation in work interventions and change in patients' self-rated work ability after IPRP. Methods Data from the Swedish quality registry for pain rehabilitation (SQRP), which includes 3809 patients between 2016 and 2018, were analysed with descriptive statistics and regression analyses. Results The results indicate a high participation rate in work interventions (90%). Some differences were evident concerning characteristics of patients who participated in different work interventions. The return-to-work (RTW) plan, the most frequently used work intervention, had the strongest association with change in self-rated work ability after IPRP. However, the effect sizes were small, and the initial score best explained the change. Furthermore, there were differences between employed and unemployed patients and employment had a positive association with change in self-rated work ability. Conclusion More research is needed to understand IPRP's mechanisms and work interventions to support patients with chronic pain, reduce sick leave, and manage work. Employment status needs to be considered and interventions should be tailored to match the individual needs.

© Svanholm F; Bjork M; Lofgren M; Gerdle B; Hedevik H; Molander P. Journal of pain research. 16:421-436, 2023.

Purpose This metasynthesis contributes to an understanding of the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of employees on managing chronic musculoskeletal disorders (CMSDs) at work. Many studies in this field are concerned with prevention or return-to-work (RTW) programmes. However, the purpose of this review was to synthesise evidence that only focuses on the employees' management of their CMSDs at work. Methods The SPIDER framework was used to structure the question "How do employees with CMSDs experience the management of their condition in the workplace"? The literature search focused on articles published between 2011 and 2021, and the search was conducted using the following databases: MEDLINE, SCOPUS, CINAHL, AMED, PsycINFO. The review identified nine articles that explored employees' experiences of managing CMSDs at work. Thematic synthesis was used to create analytic themes which provided a more in-depth discussion of these experiences. Results The identified themes were: 'employees actively seek ways to manage their conditions', 'influence of work environment on employees with CMSDs' and 'optimising the relationship between employees and managers. Conclusion This metasynthesis suggests that the ability to negotiate workplace support and manage CMSDs at work is influenced by the cultural and social environment of the organisation. Effective communication, care and trust between the employee is needed. The review also illustrated the need for healthcare professionals to provide support to employees at work.

© Skamagki G; Carpenter C; King A; Wåhlin C. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2023 Feb 27

Janvier 2023

Purpose Low back pain (LBP) is a prevalent condition frequently leading to disability. Research suggests that self-management (SM) programs for chronic LBP should include strategies to promote sustainable return to work. This study aimed to 1) validate and prioritize the essential content elements of a SM program in light of the needs of workplace representatives, and 2) identify the main facilitators and barriers to be considered when developing and implementing a SM program delivered via information and communication technologies (ICT). Methods A sequential qualitative design was used. We recruited workplace representatives and potential future users of SM programs (union representatives and employers) and collected data through focus groups and nominal group techniques to validate the relevance of the different elements included into 3 broad categories (Understand, Learn, Apply), as well as to highlight potential barriers and facilitators. Results Eleven participants took part in this study. The content elements proposed in the literature for SM programs were found to align with potential future users' needs, with participants ranking the same elements as those proposed in the scientific literature as the most important across all categories. Although some barriers were identified, workplace representatives believed that ICT offer an appropriate strategy for delivering individualized SM programs to injured workers who have returned to work. Conclusion Our study suggests that the elements identified in the literature as essential components of SM programs designed to ensure a sustainable return to work for people with LBP are in line with the needs of future users.

©Tousignant-Laflamme Y; Longtin C; Coutu MF; Gaudreault N; Kairy D; Nastasia I; Leonard G.  Work.  2023 Jan 10.

Purpose Upper extremity injuries may cause not only physical but also serious social and psychological problems in workers. The aim of this study was to compare demographic and work-related features of persons with hand injuries who sustained a work-related or a non-work-related injury to gain insights into possible predisposing factors for work-related injuries as well as psychosocial consequences of hand injuries from the social work perspective. Methods This case-control study was conducted on 30 work-related and 30 non-work-related hand injury patients. The patients were evaluated using a questionnaire designed by the authors based on the principles of social work involving demographics, work-related features, thought-emotion-behaviour features, family and friend relationships, need for family support and professional psychosocial support. Survey data from both groups were statistically analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square and Fisher Exact test. Results When compared with the non-work-related hand injury group, the majority of the subjects of the work-related hand injury group were blue-collar workers (p= 0.003), had a lower level of education (p < 0.001), worked off-the-clock (p = 0.015), held the employer responsible for the accident (p < 0.001), needed more time to return to work (p = 0.014), were worried about the future (p = 0.045), and expressed loss of joy (p = 0.004). Conclusion Hand injuries, regardless of their relation to work, lead to important psychosocial problems which need to be evaluated widely and carefully focusing on the patient and patient’s environment, work environment in this case.

© Is EE; Gudek K; Oral A; Sindel D. Work. Jan2023, p1-9.

Décembre 2022

Purpose To describe how managers of employees on sick-leave, due to chronic pain conditions, experience participating in a three-party meeting using the Demand and Ability Protocol (DAP) in the return-to-work process. Methods This study is based on individual semi-structured interviews with 17 managers of employees with chronic pain. Interviews were conducted after participating in a three-party meeting including the employee, manager, and a representative from the rehabilitation team. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis with an inductive approach. Results Two main themes were identified - "to converse with a clear structure and setup" and "to be involved in the employee's rehabilitation." The first theme describe experiences from the conversation, and the second theme reflected the managers' insights when being involved in the employee's rehabilitation. The themes comprise 11 sub-themes describing how the DAP conversation and the manager's involvement in the rehabilitation may influence the manager, the manager-employee relationship, and the organization. Conclusions This study show, from a manager's perspective, how having a dialogue with a clear structure and an active involvement in the employee's rehabilitation may be beneficial for the manager-employee relationship. Insights from participating in the DAP may also be beneficial for the organization. A structured dialogue between the employee, employer, and rehabilitation supports the return to work (RTW) process. A structured dialogue and collaboration may strengthen the relationship between the manager and employee. An active engagement of managers in the employees RTW process is beneficial for the manager-employee relationship, and for the organisation. Healthcare professionals should collaborate with the workplace to promote participation of managers.

© Aili K; Svartengren M; Danielsson K; Johansson E; Hellman T. Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-10, 2022 Dec 01.

Purpose The Demand and Ability Protocol (DAP) is used in three-party meetings involving an employee, an employer, and a representative from the rehabilitation team. The aim of this study is to investigate the inclusion of an intervention using the DAP in an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programme (IPRP) compared to usual care. Methods This non-randomised controlled trial included patients assigned to an IPRP in Sweden. The intervention group received a DAP intervention targeting their work situation in addition to the usual care provided by the IPRP. The control group received IPRP only. Outcome measures were collected from the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation. Results Results demonstrated improvements in both groups regarding self-reported anxiety, depression and EQ5D. Sleep was improved in the intervention group but not in the control group. No statistical differences in outcomes were observed between the groups. Conclusion In conclusion, adding the DAP intervention to IPRP seemed to have the potential to improve sleep among the patients, which may indicate an overall improvement regarding health outcomes from a longer perspective. The results were less clear, however, regarding the work-related outcomes of sickness absence and workability.

© Aili K; Hellman T; Svartengren M; Danielsson K. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 19(24), 2022 Dec 10.

Purpose Conditions affecting the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand can cause debilitating pain and loss of function in the working population. While there is knowledge about intervention options for this region of the body, there is limited research on systematically identifying the predictors of return to work in this population. Methods A systematic literature review identified all English-language studies that assess predictors of return to work for people with elbow, wrist, and hand conditions from 2009 to 2021 using PRISMA guidelines. Studies that examined exclusively shoulder injuries, randomized control trials, non-human studies, case studies, case reports, case series, and narrative reviews were excluded. Participants of included studies must have a health-related condition of the fingers, wrist, forearm, and elbow that is preventing work participation and must be 16 years and older. Included studies must be observational, longitudinal, and include a return to work outcome. Results Nineteen out of 170 studies were included. Average time away from work varied between seven to 304 days. Positive predictors of early return to work include: demographics, type of injury, type of treatment, work status, physical factors, psychological factors, use of self-reported outcome measures, and self-reported pain. Conclusion Five clinician recommendations were developed based on the findings of our systematic review. Clinicians should consider the type of work, use of outcome measures, psychological factors, hospitalization, and salary. These recommendations are intended to influence the behavior of clinicians when determining prognosis for return to work of people with elbow, wrist, and hand conditions.

© Bousfield K; Cheon JY; Harley S; Lampiris-Tremba A; Loseby J; Bianchi N; Barnes A; Escorpizo R.  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 32(3):380-413, 2022 09.

Purpose The burden of osteoarthritis (OA) has increased steadily due to an aging population, increasing life expectancy, obesity and lifestyle factors. Total hip replacement has become one of the most prevalent and successful operations globally and it is projected that demand will continue to grow as the incidence of OA continues to increase. Patients undergoing the operation expect much-improved function and pain relief but also increasingly need to return to work postoperatively, especially given the growing demand for the procedure and the encouragement of older people to continue working by most governments in the developed world. Results This review provides an overview of function and employment outcomes after hip arthroplasty. Despite the generally good success rate, some patients do not attain good functional outcomes and it is important that we develop ways to identify these patients preoperatively. We describe the effect of demographic, clinical and other factors on functional outcomes, as well as trajectories of physical function and pain recovery beyond the first few weeks after total hip replacement. Regarding employment outcomes, many people in work preoperatively are likely to resume to work after recovery; however, patients feel that they lack guidance from clinicians about returning to work postoperatively. Conclusion Our review encompasses factors associated with return to work, timing of return to work, and potential temporary or permanent limitations that people might experience at work depending on type of employment.

©  Zaballa E; Dennison E; Walker-Bone K. Maturitas. 167:8-16, 2023 01.

Purpose Optimizing return to work after knee arthroplasty is becoming more important because of the growing incidence of KA among workers and poor return to work outcomes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility of Back At work After Surgery (BAAS): an integrated clinical pathway for return to work after knee arthroplasty. Method Working patients who received unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) between January 2021 and November 2021, younger than 65 years and motivated to return to work were eligible to participate. Feasibility was investigated on five domains: reach, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity and patients' attitudes. These outcomes were obtained by a patient-reported questionnaire and an interview with the occupational case manager and medical case manager. Results Of the eligible 29 patients, eleven were willing to participate (response rate 38%; due to travel distance to and from the hospital). The dose delivered was between 91 and 100%, except information given about return to work from the orthopedic surgeon which was 18%. The dose received was 100%. For fidelity, case managers reported nine shortcomings for which five solutions were mentioned. In terms of patients' attitude, all patients were satisfied and one patient mentioned an improvement. In terms of reach, participation was low: only 29%. Conclusions The BAAS clinical pathway seems feasible based on dose delivered, dose received, fidelity and patient attitudes. The next step is to assess the effectiveness of the BAAS clinical pathway for return to work.

© Strijbos DO; van der Sluis G; Boymans TAEJ; de Groot S; Klomp S; Kooijman CM; Reneman MF; Kuijer PPFM.  Musculoskeletal Care. 20(4):950-959, 2022 Dec.

Purpose This systematic review aimed to examine pain, functional status and return to work after a multidisciplinary intervention, with or without additional workplace intervention, for (sub)acute low back pain among adults. Methods A comprehensive search was completed (November 2022) in six electronic databases (Embase, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane, CENTRAL and Scopus) and in the reference list of all identified studies.The search results were screened against predefined eligibility criteria by two independent researchers. Included articles were systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials examining the effect of a multidisciplinary intervention, with or without workplace intervention, in working adults with (sub)acute low back pain. Relevant information was summarized and clustered, and the methodological quality and certainty of evidence were assessed respectively using the RoB 2-tool, the ROBIS tool and the GRADE criteria. Results The search resulted in a total of 3020 articles. After the screening process, 12 studies remained (11 randomized controlled trials and 1 systematic review), which studied overall 2751 patients, with a follow-up period of at least 12 months. Conclusions A multidisciplinary intervention is favorable compared to usual care for pain intensity and functional status but this is less clear for return to work. Comparable work-related effects were found when comparing a multidisciplinary intervention with a less extensive intervention, whereas uncertainties exist regarding outcomes of pain intensity and functional status. Furthermore, adding a workplace intervention to usual care and subdividing patients based on work-related characteristics seems beneficial for return to work.

©   Bernaers L; Cnockaert E; Braeckman L; Mairiaux P; Willems TM. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2692155221146447, 2022 Dec 26.

Purpose Little is known about ability to work after unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) and total knee replacement (TKR), especially in physically-demanding occupations. This study described rates of return-to-work (RTW) and ability to sustain work by job after arthroplasty. Method Participants from The Clinical Outcomes in Arthroplasty Study (COASt) aged 18-65 were eligible if they underwent UKR or TKR and had at least 5 years' follow-up post-operation. We posted a survey asking about pre-operative occupation, post-operative occupations and associated physical demands, and whether they had quit a job post-surgery due to difficulties with the operated knee (knee-related job loss (KRJL)). We fitted Cox Proportional Hazard Models to investigate the role of demanding physical activities on KRJL. Results 251 people (143 UKR, 108 TKR) returned a questionnaire, of whom 101 UKR and 57 TKR worked post-operatively. Rates of RTW were highest amongst those in managerial and professional or technical roles, whichever operation they received. RTW was poorest amongst those in elementary occupations. In associate professional/technical occupations, RTW rates were better amongst UKR recipients. Amongst participants who returned to work, 17 reported KRJL (8.5% UKR and 16.7% TKR). Respondents were more likely to have KRJL if their job involved carrying/lifting ≥10 kg (HR:4.81, 95%CI 1.55-14.93) or climbing >30 flights of stairs (HR:4.03, 95%CI 1.36-11.98). Conclusions Knee arthroplasty recipients working pre-operatively mostly RTW. RTW may be more difficult after TKR than UKR. Jobs which involve lifting and climbing stairs may be particularly challenging. Surgeons offering knee arthroplasty should counsel patients about workability as well as risk of revision.

© Zaballa E; Ntani G; Harris EC; Arden NK; Cooper C; Walker-Bone K, The Knee, 2022 Dec 13; Vol. 40, pp. 245-255.

Novembre 2022

Purpose The objective of this systematic review is to quantify the association between recovery expectations and return-to-work outcomes in adults with musculoskeletal pain conditions. In addition, this review has the second objective to compare the predictive utility of single-item and multi-item recovery expectation scales on return-to-work outcomes. Methods Relevant articles were selected from Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, Cochrane, and manual searches. Studies that assessed recovery expectations as predictors of return-to-work outcomes in adults with musculoskeletal pain conditions were eligible. Data were extracted on study characteristics, recovery expectations, return-to-work outcomes, and the quantitative association between recovery expectations and return-to-work outcomes. Risk of bias was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project. Odds ratios were pooled to examine the effects of recovery expectations on return-to-work outcomes. Chi-square analyses compared the predictive utility of single-item and multi-item recovery expectation scales on return-to-work outcomes. Results Thirty studies on a total of 28,741 individuals with musculoskeletal pain conditions were included in this review. The odds of being work disabled at follow-up were twice as high in individuals with low recovery expectations (OR = 2.06 [95% CI 1.20-2.92] P < 0.001). Analyses also revealed no significant differences in the predictive value of validated and nonvalidated single-item measures of recovery expectations on work disability (chi 2 = 1.68, P = 0.19). Conclusion There is strong evidence that recovery expectations are associated with return-to-work outcomes. The results suggest that single-item measures of recovery expectations can validly be used to predict return-to-work outcomes in individuals with musculoskeletal pain conditions.

© Carriere JS; Donayre Pimentel S; Bou Saba S; Boehme B; Berbiche D; Coutu MF; Durand MJ,  Pain.  2022 Sep 26.

Purpose Associations between the intensity of physical therapy (PT) treatments and health outcomes among individuals with back pain have been examined in the general population; however, few studies have explored these associations in injured workers. Our study objective was to examine whether intensity of PT treatments is positively associated with work and health outcomes in injured workers with back pain. Methods We conducted a secondary analysis of prospective data collected from the Washington State Workers' Compensation (WC) Disability Risk Identification Study Cohort (D-RISC). D-RISC combined survey results with WC data from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Workers with a State Fund WC claim for back injuries between June 2002 and April 2004 and who received PT services within the first year of injury were eligible. Intensity of PT treatment was measured as the type and amount of PT services within 28 days from the first PT visit. Outcome measures included work disability and self-reported measures for working for pay, pain intensity, and functional status at 1-year follow-up. We conducted linear and logistic regression models to test associations. Results We identified 662 eligible workers. In adjusted models, although the intensity of PT treatment was not significantly associated with work disability at 1-year follow-up, it was associated with lower odds of working for pay, decreased pain intensity, and improved functional status. Conclusions Our findings suggest that there may be small benefits from receiving active PT, manual therapy, and frequent PT treatments within 28 days of initiating PT care.

© Chin B; Rundell SD; Sears JM; Fulton-Kehoe D; Spector JT; Franklin GM, American Journal of Industrial Medicine.  2022 Nov 12.

Purpose To evaluate if adding motivational interviewing (MI) or a stratified vocational advice intervention (SVAI) to usual case management (UC), reduced sickness absence over 6 months for workers on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. Methods We conducted a three-arm parallel pragmatic randomised controlled trial including 514 employed workers (57% women, median age 49 (range 24-66)), on sick leave for at least 50% of their contracted work hours for ≥7 weeks. All participants received UC. In addition, those randomised to UC+MI were offered two MI sessions from social insurance caseworkers and those randomised to UC+SVAI were offered vocational advice from physiotherapists (participants with low/medium-risk for long-term sickness absence were offered one to two sessions, and those with high-risk were offered three to four sessions). Results Median sickness absence was 62 days, (95% CI 52 to 71) in the UC arm (n=171), 56 days (95% CI 43 to 70) in the UC+MI arm (n=169) and 49 days (95% CI 38 to 60) in the UC+SVAI arm (n=169). After adjusting for predefined potential confounding factors, the results showed seven fewer days in the UC+MI arm (95% CI -15 to 2) and the UC+SVAI arm (95% CI -16 to 1), compared with the UC arm. The adjusted differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions The MI-NAV trial did not show effect on return to work of adding MI or SVAI to UC. The reduction in sickness absence over 6 months was smaller than anticipated, and uncertain due to wide CIs.

© Aanesen F; Grotle M; Rysstad TL; Tveter AT; Tingulstad A; Løchting I; Småstuen MC; van Tulder MW; Berg R; Foster NE; Wynne-Jones G; Sowden G; Fors E; Bagøien G; Hagen R; Storheim K; Øiestad BE, Occupational and environmental medicine, 2022 Nov 25.

Octobre 2022

Purpose To compare outcomes in employed people from an enhanced routine management pathway for musculoskeletal disorders within National Health Service Scotland with an existing active case-management system, Working Health Services Scotland. Methods The study comprised a service evaluation using anonymised routinely collected data from all currently employed callers presenting with musculoskeletal disorder to the two services. Baseline demographic and clinical data were collected. EuroQol EQ-5DTM scores at the start and end of treatment were compared for both groups, overall and by age, sex, socio-economic status, and anatomical site, and the impact of mental health status at baseline was evaluated. Results Active case-management resulted in greater improvement than enhanced routine care. Case-managed service users entered the programme earlier in the recovery pathway; there was evidence of spontaneous improvement during the longer waiting time of routine service clients but only if they had good baseline mental health. Those most disadvantaged through mental health co-morbidity showed the greatest benefit. Conclusions People with musculoskeletal disorders who have poor baseline mental health status derive greatest benefit from active case-management. Case-management therefore contributes to reducing health inequalities and can help to minimise long-term sickness absence. Shorter waiting times contributed to better outcomes in the case-managed service. Implications for RehabilitationMusculoskeletal disorders are a major cause of inability to work. Case-management is effective in helping people with musculoskeletal disorders to return to work.People who have the poorest mental health are likely to gain the greatest benefit from case-management of their musculoskeletal disorders.

© Bergman BP; Demou E; Lewsey J; Macdonald E. Disability & Rehabilitation. 44(17):4648-4655, 2022 08.

Purpose Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) represent 95 % of businesses and are economically essential. When occupational injuries occur, scientific literature suggests that the return-to-work (RTW) success rate is proportional to the size of enterprises and the way the RTW is managed may put workers in SMEs at risk. As most studies on RTW organizational practices have been conducted with large enterprises, little is known about how RTW is managed in SMEs. The aim of this study was to explore SME's organizational practices in the RTW process of workers having suffered an occupational injury. Methods Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with 15 participants from 3 different stakeholder categories (i.e., SME representatives, workers, and healthcare professionals) in order to explore their experiences regarding RTW in SMEs. Data were analyzed using a phenomenological analysis strategy. Results SMEs' organisational practices evoked by participants gather in three themes: 1) Reducing the risks of occupational injuries (i.e., ensuring injury prevention), 2) Managing occupational injuries (i.e., dealing with the initial occupational injury, handling administrative aspects of work disability, and being actively involved in the RTW process), and 3) Preventing consequences of occupational injuries (i.e., adapting operations following injuries). Conclusion Organizational practices for RTW are used diversely in SMEs. Proposed lines of action adapted to the realities and needs of SMEs may be beneficial to hundreds of thousands of workers, enterprises and professionals involved in the RTW process.

©   Audet J; Lecours A; Nastasia I.  Work.  2022 Oct 03.

Septembre 2022

Purpose Multidisciplinary rehabilitation is recommended to reduce sickness absence and disability in patients with subacute or chronic low back pain (LBP). This study aimed to investigate whether a 12-week coordinated work oriented multidisciplinary rehabilitation intervention was effective on return to work and number of days off work during one-year follow-up when compared to usual care. Methods This study is a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of a 12-week multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation program in addition to usual treatment. 770 patients with LBP, who were sick-listed, or at risk of being sick-listed were included in the study. The primary outcome was number of days off work due to LBP. The secondary outcomes were disability, health-related quality of life, pain, psychological distress and fear avoidance behavior. Data were collected at baseline, at the end of treatment, and at 6- and 12-months follow-up. Analyses were carried out according to the "intention-to-treat" principles. Results A significant decrease in the number of patients who were on sick-leave was found in both groups at the end of treatment and at 6- and 12-months follow-up. Additionally, disability, pain, health related quality of life, psychological distress, and fear avoidance beliefs improved in both groups. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups on any of the outcomes. Conclusions The coordinated multidisciplinary intervention had no additional effect on sickness absence, disability, pain, or health related quality of life as compared with that of usual care.

© Fisker A, Langberg H, Petersen T, Mortensen OS, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 23(1): 1-12

Purpose The aim of this study is to investigate whether total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients who consulted an occupational medicine specialist (OMS) within 3 months after surgery, return to work (RTW) earlier than patients who did not consult an OMS. Methods A multi-center prospective cohort study was performed among working TKA patients, aged 18 to 65 years and intending to RTW. Time to RTW was analyzed using Kaplan Meier and Mann Whitney U (MWU), and multiple linear regression analysis was used to adjust for effect modification and confounding. Results One hundred and eighty-two (182) patients were included with a median age of 59 years [IQR 54-62], including 95 women (52%). Patients who consulted an OMS were less often self-employed but did not differ on other patient and work-related characteristics. TKA patients who consulted an OMS returned to work later than those who did not (median 78 versus 62 days, MWU p < 0.01). The effect of consulting an OMS on time to RTW was modified by patients' expectations in linear regression analysis (p = 0.05). A median decrease in time of 24 days was found in TKA patients with preoperative high expectations not consulting an OMS (p = 0.03), not in patients with low expectations. Conclusions Consulting an OMS within 3 months after surgery did not result in a decrease in time to RTW in TKA patients. TKA patients with high expectations did RTW earlier without consulting an OMS. Intervention studies on how OMSs can positively influence a timely RTW, incorporating patients' preoperative expectations, are needed.

© van Zaanen Y; Kievit AJ; van Geenen RCI; Pahlplatz TMJ; Hoozemans MJM; Blankevoort L; Schafroth MU; Haverkamp D; Vervest TMJS; Das DHPW; Scholtes VA; van der Beek AJ; Kuijer PPFM, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Sep 09

Purpose The objective of this systematic review is to quantify the association between recovery expectations and return-to-work outcomes in adults with musculoskeletal pain conditions. In addition, this review has the second objective to compare the predictive utility of single-item and multi-item recovery expectation scales on return-to-work outcomes. Methods Relevant articles were selected from Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, Cochrane and manual searches. Studies that assessed recovery expectations as predictors of return-to-work outcomes in adults with musculoskeletal pain conditions were eligible. Data was extracted on study characteristics, recovery expectations, return-to-work outcomes and the quantitative association between recovery expectations and return-to-work outcomes. Risk of bias was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project. Odds ratios were pooled to examine the effects of recovery expectations on return-to-work outcomes. Chi-square analyses compared the predictive utility of single-item and multi-item recovery expectation scales on return-to-work outcomes. Results Thirty studies on a total of 28,741 individuals with musculoskeletal pain conditions were included in this review. The odds of being work disabled at follow-up were twice as high in individuals with low recovery expectations (OR = 2.06 (95% CI 1.20-2.92) p < .001). Analyses also revealed no significant differences in the predictive value of validated and non-validated single-item measures of recovery expectations on work disability (χ2 = 1.68, p = 0.19). Conclusion There is strong evidence that recovery expectations are associated with return-to-work outcomes. The results suggest that single-item measures of recovery expectations can validly be used to predict return-to-work outcomes in individuals with musculoskeletal pain conditions.

© Carrière JS; Pimentel SD; Bou-Saba S; Boehme B; Berbiche D; Coutu MF; Durand MJ, Pain, 2022 Sep 26

Purpose This study aimed to identify trajectories of sickness absence in workers on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders and explore the association between these trajectories and established prognostic factors for sickness absence. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of 549 workers (56% women, aged 18-67 years) on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders in Norway in 2018-2019. Sickness absence data were collected from the Norwegian sick leave registry and prognostic factors via self-reported baseline questionnaires. We used group-based trajectory modelling to define the different trajectories of sickness absence spanning a 1-year period. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for prognostic factors associated with the identified trajectory groups. Results We identified six distinct trajectories of sickness absence over 1 year: 'fast decrease' (27% of the cohort): 'moderate decrease' (22%); 'slow decrease' (12%); 'u-shape' (7%); 'persistent moderate' (13%); and 'persistent high' (18%). Prognostic factors, such as previous sickness absence days, return-to-work expectancy, workability, multisite pain, and health scores, differentiated between the sickness absence trajectories (all P < 0.05). Negative return-to-work expectancy was associated with the three trajectory groups with the highest number of sickness absence days ('slow decrease', 'persistent moderate', and 'persistent high'). Conclusions This is the first study to explore the association of return-to-work expectancy with trajectories of sickness absence. Our findings highlight different patterns of sickness absence and the complex range of prognostic factors. These findings have implications for secondary and tertiary prevention strategies for work absence in workers with musculoskeletal disorders.

© Rysstad T; Grotle M; Aasdahl L; Dunn KM; Tveter AT, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Sep 14

Août 2022

Purpose Spinal surgeries to treat chronic low back pain (CLBP) have variable success rates, and despite the significant personal and socioeconomic implications, we lack consensus for prognostic factors. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the evidence for preoperative predictors of return to work (RTW) after spinal surgery for CLBP. Methods We searched electronic databases and references (January 1984 to March 2021), screened 2,622 unique citations, and included 8 reports (5 low and 3 high risk-of-bias) which involved adults with >=3 months duration of CLBP with/without leg pain undergoing first elective lumbar surgery with RTW assessed >=3 months later. Results Narrative synthesis and meta-analysis where possible found that individuals less likely to RTW were older (odds ratio [OR] = .58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46-0.72), not working before surgery, had longer sick leave (OR = .95; 95% CI: 0.93-0.97), higher physical workload, legal representation (OR = .61; 95% CI: 0.53-0.71), psychiatric comorbidities and depression (moderate quality-of-evidence, QoE), and longer CLBP duration and opioid use (low QoE), independent of potential confounders. Low quality and small number of studies limit our confidence in other associations. In conclusion, RTW after spinal surgery for CLBP likely depends on sociodemographic and affective psychological factors, and potentially also on symptom duration and opioid use. Conclusion This systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes and evaluates existing evidence for preoperative predictors of return to work after spinal surgery for chronic low back pain. Demonstrated associations between return to work and sociodemographic, health-related, and psychological factors can inform clinical decision-making and guide further research.

©   Halicka M; Duarte R; Catherall S; Maden M; Coetsee M; Wilby M; Brown C. Journal of Pain. 23(8):1318-1342, 2022 Aug.

Purpose Road traffic injuries (RTIs), primarily musculoskeletal in nature, are the leading cause of unintentional injury worldwide, incurring significant individual and societal burden. Investigation of a large representative cohort is needed to validate early identifiable predictors of long-term work incapacity post-RTI. Therefore, up until two years post-RTI we aimed to: evaluate absolute occurrence of return-to-work (RTW) and occurrence by injury compensation claimant status; evaluate early factors (e.g., biopsychosocial and injury-related) that influence RTW longitudinally; and identify factors potentially modifiable with intervention (e.g., psychological distress and pain). Methods Prospective cohort study of 2019 adult participants, recruited within 28 days of a non-catastrophic RTI, predominantly of mild-to-moderate severity, in New South Wales, Australia. Biopsychosocial, injury, and compensation data were collected via telephone interview within one-month of injury (baseline). Work status was self-reported at baseline, 6-, 12-, and 24-months. Analyses were restricted to participants who reported paid work pre-injury (N = 1533). Type-3 global p-values were used to evaluate explanatory factors for returning to 'any' or 'full duties' paid work across factor subcategories. Modified Poisson regression modelling was used to evaluate factors associated with RTW with adjustment for potential covariates. Results Only ~ 30% of people with RTI returned to full work duties within one-month post-injury, but the majority (76.7%) resumed full duties by 6-months. A significant portion of participants were working with modified duties (~ 10%) or not working at all (~ 10%) at 6-, 12-, and 24-months. Female sex, low education, low income, physically demanding occupations, pre-injury comorbidities, and high injury severity were negatively associated with RTW. Claiming injury compensation in the fault-based scheme operating at the time, and early identified post-injury pain and psychological distress, were key factors negatively associated with RTW up until two years post-injury. Conclusions Long-term work incapacity was observed in 20% of people following RTI. Our findings have implications that suggest review of the design of injury compensation schemes and processes, early identification of those at risk of delayed RTW using validated pain and psychological health assessment tools, and improved interventions to address risks, may facilitate sustainable RTW.

© Papic C; Kifley A; Craig A; Grant G; Collie A; Pozzato I; Gabbe B; Derrett S; Rebbeck T; Jagnoor J; Cameron ID.  BMC Public Health. 22(1):1498, 2022 08 05.

Purpose Occupational accidents may lead laborers to lose their working capacities, affecting their physical and mental health. Occupational rehabilitation helps improve the ability of patients with occupational accidents and suggests appropriate jobs to avoid second injuries. This study aimed to identify whether any of the functional capacity evaluation (FCE) strength subtests predicted successful return to work. Methods Data were collected of 84 patients receiving government-subsidized occupational rehabilitation between September 2016 and December 2018. A structured questionnaire was employed for pre- and post-training assessment, including basic information, information of the occupational accident, status of the laborer at the opening of the injury case, physical requirement for the job, and physical capacity. Eight subtests of strength were included in the physical capacity evaluation, i.e., carrying, lifting to several levels, power grip, and lateral pinch, to explore the association between the strength tests and return to work. Results The unadjusted model showed that for every additional kilogram in bilateral carrying strength before work hardening training, the odds of successful return to work increased (crude odds ratio [OR] = 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.24, p = 0.027). After adjustment for basic demographic information and pre-accident physical functional elements of work, the odds of successful return to work increased (adjusted OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.04-1.54, p = 0.02) for every additional kilogram in the pre-training bilateral carrying strength. There were no statistically significant differences observed in the other seven subtests. Conclusion Through thorough evaluation and work hardening training provided in the occupational rehabilitation, patients' physical capacity can be understood and improved. However, a full evaluation of functional capacities is prolonged and time-consuming. This study provides evidence that pre-work-hardening bilateral carrying strength may be a promising predictor of return to work and we recommend to consider it as a prioritized test to assist in determining appropriate advice regarding return to work.

©   Yang CL; Yin YR; Chu CM; Tang PL. BMC Public Health. 22(1):1472, 2022 08 02.

Juillet 2022

Purpose Upper extremity injuries may prevent adults from returning to work, impacting productivity, and engagement in meaningful employment. The scoping review identified various non-physical factors that impact return to work (RTW) after an upper extremity injury. Methods Database searches included: CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The authors further hand searched the journals Work and The Journal of Hand Therapy. Inclusion criteria included articles published in English, published from 2000–2020, and addressed the following topics: upper extremity injury, the client’s psychosocial perceptions of the injury, and return to work. Results After title and abstract review, 9 studies were identified for full-text review that examined various patterns related to non-physical factors that impact RTW. Three themes emerged from the full-text reviews including client self-efficacy, social determinants of health, and the need for holistic intervention approaches. Conclusion Practitioners involved in the rehabilitation of working age clients with upper extremity injuries should remain cognizant of the non-physical factors that can impact return to work and incorporate holistic approaches like monitoring and addressing self-efficacy, psychosocial well-being, and social determinants of health into clinical practice.

© Gerg MJ; Hazak KM; Carrie BR; Melendez N; Jewell VD. Work. Jul 2022, p1-14.

Juin 2022

Purpose This study aims to paint a picture of the factors that influence the process of rehabilitation, return, and stay at work, for aging workers who have suffered an occupational injury. Methods Based on a descriptive interpretative research design, the authors conducted interviews with 23 participants (i.e., aging workers, workers' representatives, employers, insurers, and rehabilitation professionals) to gather their perspectives. Qualitative data was analyzed through thematic analysis. Results Fifteen factors related to the worker, health system, workplace, or compensation system were identified. These factors prevail during rehabilitation, return to work, stay at work, or the entire process. Conclusions This study contributes to the advancement of knowledge regarding three main ideas: (1) the importance of not placing the responsibility on the worker in this complex process, (2) the key role of the compensation system, and (3) the necessity of transforming work to reduce ageism.

© Lecours A; Laliberte M; Lord MM; Leonard G; Ruel J. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2022 May 23.

Purpose There is strong evidence that social support is an important determinant of return to work (RTW). Little is known about the role of social support in RTW after total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA). Objective was to examine the influence of preoperative and postoperative perceived social support on RTW status 6 months postoperatively. Methods Design: A prospective multicentre cohort study was conducted. Setting: Orthopaedic departments of four Dutch medical centres; a tertiary university hospital, two large teaching hospitals and a general hospital. Participants: Patients planned to undergo THA/TKA, aged 18-63 and employed preoperatively were included. Main outcome and measures: Questionnaires were filled out preoperatively and 3 and 6 months postoperatively and included questions to assess patients' perceived social support targeting three sources of social support: from home (friends, family), from work (coworkers, supervisors) and from healthcare (occupational physician, general practitioner, other caregivers). Control variables included age, gender, education, type of arthroplasty and comorbidities. RTW was defined as having fully returned to work 6 months postoperatively. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results Enrolled were 190 patients (n=77 THA, n=113 TKA, median age was 56 years, 56% women). The majority returned to work (64%). Preoperatively, social support from the occupational physician was associated with RTW (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.15 to 5.54). Postoperatively, social support from the occupational physician (OR 3.04, 95% CI 1.43 to 6.47) and the supervisor (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.08 to 6.06) was associated with RTW. Conclusions This study underscores the importance of work-related social support originating from the occupational physician and supervisor in facilitating RTW after primary THA/TKA, both preoperatively and postoperatively. Further research is needed to confirm our results and to understand the facilitating role of social support in RTW, as arthroplasty is being performed on a younger population for whom work participation is critical.

© Kamp T; Stevens M; Van Beveren J; Rijk PC; Brouwer R; Bulstra S; Brouwer S. BMJ Open. 12(5):e059225, 2022 May 27.

Purpose To explore how patients who participate in an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program (IPRP) experience a three-party meeting based on the Demand and Ability Protocol (DAP) to assist in return to work (RTW). The DAP is a employee and his/her immediate manager under the guidance of medical staff with knowledge of the patient's work requirements and his/her current functional ability. Methods Data included 18 semi structured individual interviews with persons having chronic pain, who participated in a DAP-dialogue during their IPRP. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results Four themes were identified: A structured dialogue facilitated new insights; the dialogue enabled employer participation; the facilitator enabled experiences of feeling safe during the dialogue; and the dialogue created a link between rehabilitation and work. Conclusions The DAP dialogue was experienced as a supportive measure for RTW where the employer naturally participated in IPRP. The structure of the dialogue supported concrete planning for workplace adaptations. Furthermore, the dialogue enabled a connection between rehabilitation and the activity of work in everyday life. The results reinforce the importance of including efforts close to the workplace in IPRP in order to facilitate rehabilitation outcomes related to RTW. Implications for rehabilitation: A structured collaboration and dialogue between the employee, employer, and rehabilitation supports the RTW process. Collaboration between stakeholders is important and should be intertwined in IPRP to jointly facilitate the employee's RTW. Clarifying the work demands provides motivation for the RTW process. Healthcare professionals should collaborate with the workplace to promote employer participation.

©   Johansson E; Svartengren M; Danielsson K; Hellman T. Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-8, 2022 Jun 10.

Purpose For many workers suffering from chronic low back pain (CLBP), the main challenge after a disabling episode is not returning to work in itself, but rather sustaining this reinstatement. The goal of this study was to identify key elements that should be included in a self-management (SM) program in order to facilitate a sustainable return to work for patients suffering from LBP. Methods We conducted a mapping review to examine the current evidence surrounding this issue in four databases (CINAHL, PudMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library). Key content elements of SM programs, as well as facilitators/barriers associated with sustainable RTW were extracted and analysed. Results Only three studies that met our eligibility criteria. Results from these studies suggest that, in the context of RTW, the two most valuable components of an SM program are educational materials and strategies specifically tailored to the work context. Conclusions Among this admittedly scarce evidence, we were able to identify valuable elements that should be included in SM programs in order to promote a sustainable RTW. Additional studies assessing the effectiveness of both current SM programs and programs developed based on our recommendations will be called for to further support our results.

© Tousignant-Laflamme Y; Longtin C; Coutu MF; Gaudreault N; Kairy D; Nastasia I; Leonard G. European Journal of Physiotherapy. Jun2022, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p164-173.

Purpose To examine the impact of pre-existing anxiety and depression disorders on return to work (RTW) using a phase-based approach. Methods Accepted lost-time workers' compensation claims for upper limb or spine strain or sprain from 2009 to 2013 were extracted for workers in the Canadian province of British Columbia (n = 78,186). Pre-existing anxiety and depression disorders were identified using health claims data. Probability of RTW following a first or second work lost-time episode was analyzed using Prentice, Williams and Peterson models for recurrent events (common hazards ratios (cHR)). Probability of a first lost-time recurrence was analyzed using Cox models (HR). All models included two years of follow up and were stratified by gender. Results For men, anxiety alone (cHR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.94) or comorbid with depression (cHR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.92 to 0.99) was significantly associated with a lower probability of RTW, and comorbid anxiety and depression with a higher probability of recurrence (HR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.48). In women, comorbid anxiety and depression was significantly associated with a lower probability of RTW (cHR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.93 to 0.99) and a higher probability of recurrence (HR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.28); and anxiety alone with a higher probability of recurrence (HR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.43). There was little evidence that depression alone was associated with RTW or recurrence. Conclusions Workers with a pre-existing anxiety disorder may require additional supports both during lost-time and after initial RTW.

©   Jones AM; Koehoorn M; Bultmann U; McLeod CB. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.  2022 Jun 06.

Avril 2022

Purpose The aim of this scoping review was to synthesize the literature addressing the competencies that physiotherapists in a clinical setting need to facilitate the rehabilitation, work participation, and return to work of workers with musculoskeletal disorders. Methods We conducted a scoping review in accordance with Arksey & O'Malley's five-step method. The following categories of keywords were used during searches in Embase, Medline and CINAHL in May 2020: (1) physiotherapy/physical therapy; (2) return to work, work participation or occupational health; and (3) education/professional competencies/guidelines. Two authors reviewed the full-text papers and agreed on the selection of articles for inclusion. The selected articles were then charted in an Excel grid and descriptively analyzed. Results Three main categories of competencies were identified: (1) Understanding and interacting with patients who are workers; (2) Planning rehabilitation with other stakeholders; and (3) Reaching out to the workplace. The fourth category named "Obstacles to the development of work-related competencies", regroups several obstacles that were identified as potentially impeding the development of work-related competencies by physiotherapists. Conclusion The findings of this scoping review inform physiotherapy clinicians, educators and regulators on the specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that appear to play a role in facilitating the rehabilitation of workers with musculoskeletal disorders. We trust that this study will lead to new initiatives that will define, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of these competencies in practice, along with rekindling the discussions about the place of work rehabilitation in the physiotherapy profession.

© St-Georges M, Hutting N, Hudon A, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Apr 06

Purpose Hip arthroscopy is a procedure commonly performed to correct various hip pathologies such as femoroacetabular impingement and labral tears. These hip pathologies commonly affect young, otherwise healthy patients. The recovery after hip arthroscopy can prevent patients from returning to work and impair performance levels, having significant economic repercussions. To date, there has been no cumulative analysis of the existing literature on return to work after hip arthroscopy.The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review of the existing literature regarding return to work after hip arthroscopy and analysis of factors associated with the ability to return to work and time to return to work. Study Design Systematic review and meta-analysis; Level of evidence, 4. Methods A literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases was performed based on the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Studies assessing functional outcomes and return to work, including return to military duty, after hip arthroscopy were included. Patients' ability to return to work, as well as time to return, was compared between selected studies. Where available, workers' compensation status as well as type of work was compared. All statistical analysis was performed using SPSS, Version 22. P < .05 was considered statistically significant. Results Twelve studies with 1124 patients were included. Patients were followed for an average of 17.6 months. Using weighted means, the average rate of return to work was 71.35%, while full return to previous work duties was achieved at a rate of 50.89%. Modification to work duties was required at a rate of 15.48%. On average, the time to return to work was 115 days (range, 17-219 days). Rate of return by patients with workers' compensation status was found to be 85.15% at an average of 132 days (range, 37-211 days). Rate of return to work in workers performing professions reported as strenuous vs light (ie, mostly sedentary) jobs showed a statistically higher return to work in light professions (risk ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.41-0.69). Conclusion After hip arthroscopy, there is a high rate of return to work at an average of 115 days after surgery. However, full return to work was achieved by only half of patients upon final follow-up.

© Blaeser AM, Mojica ES, Mannino BJ, Youm T, The American journal of sports medicine, 2022 Apr 06, pp. 3635465211064271