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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Purpose Work-disability following musculoskeletal injury causes a significant burden for individuals and healthcare systems. Research into work-disability prevention has investigated the ability of psychosocial factors to predict return-to-work in workers with musculoskeletal injuries. Recent research indicates that both return-to-work expectations and workplace supports influence return-to-work outcome. However, how these mechanisms operate to influence outcome is still largely unknown. Methods We undertook a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with workers from diverse backgrounds who were undergoing vocational rehabilitation in New Zealand following a musculoskeletal injury. Interviews investigated the injured workers' experiences of workplace supports and asked in-depth about what contributed to their expectations of returning to work. Thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data. Results Analysis identified four key themes. We found that what workplace supports were offered and how they were taken up was related to systemic factors, and trust. We also identified a link between the offer of support from the workplace and return-to-work expectations. Finally, the actions of workers' compensation and healthcare providers during workers' recovery were reported to influence supports, expectations and the confidence injured workers experienced in their return-to-work outcome in both overt and subtle ways. Conclusion This study indicated that actions of the workplace, healthcare providers and workers' compensation parties can all influence workplace supports, return-to-work expectations and return-to-work outcome. These findings therefore implicate the actions of these stakeholders in work-disability prevention efforts. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Positive return-to-work expectations are increasingly shown by research to be related to positive return-to-work outcomes for injured workers. Trust between the worker and the company can underpin the provision of supports for return-to-work, which in turn can influence worker confidence and expectations of return-to-work. Consideration of workplace culture and relationships when healthcare providers interact with employers can be crucial in fostering trust and enabling appropriate workplace supports. The ways in which workers compensation processes are executed can also affect workplace relationships, and therefore influence the provision of appropriate return-to-work supports.
© Christopherson RM, Fadyl JK, Lewis GN, Disability and rehabilitation, 2022 Mar; Vol. 44 (5), pp. 702-709
Purpose Persons with chronic pain experience a lack of support after completing rehabilitation and the responsibility for the return-to-work (RTW) process is taken over by the employer. In addition, employers describe not knowing how to support their employees. Smartphone apps have been increasingly used for self-management, but there is a lack of available eHealth apps with evidence-based content providing digital support for persons with chronic pain and their employers when they return to work.This study aims to describe the development of a digital support application with evidence-based content that includes a biopsychosocial perspective on chronic pain for sustainable RTW for persons with chronic pain and their employers (SWEPPE [Sustainable Worker Digital Support for Persons With Chronic Pain and Their Employers]). Methods A user-centered agile design approach was applied. The multidisciplinary project team consisted of health care researchers, a user representative, and a software team. A total of 2 reference groups of 7 persons with chronic pain and 4 employers participated in the development process and usability testing. Mixed methods were used for data collection. The design was revised using feedback from the reference groups. The content of SWEPPE was developed based on existing evidence and input from the reference groups. Results The reference groups identified the following as important characteristics to include in SWEPPE: keeping users motivated, tracking health status and work situation, and following progress. SWEPPE was developed as a smartphone app for the persons with chronic pain and as a web application for their employers. SWEPPE consists of six modules: the action plan, daily self-rating, self-monitoring graphs, the coach, the library, and shared information with the employer. The employers found the following functions in SWEPPE to be the most useful: employees' goals related to RTW, barriers to RTW, support wanted from the employer, and the ability to follow employees' progress. The persons with chronic pain found the following functions in SWEPPE to be the most useful: setting a goal related to RTW, identifying barriers and strategies, and self-monitoring. Usability testing revealed that SWEPPE was safe, useful (ie, provided relevant information), logical, and easy to use with an appealing interface. Conclusions This study reports the development of a digital support application for persons with chronic pain and their employers. SWEPPE fulfilled the need of support after an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program with useful functions such as setting a goal related to RTW, identification of barriers and strategies for RTW, self-monitoring, and sharing information between the employee and the employer. The user-centered agile design approach contributed to creating SWEPPE as a relevant and easy-to-use eHealth intervention. Further studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of SWEPPE in a clinical setting.
© Turesson C, Liedberg G, Björk M, JMIR human factors, 2022 Mar 14; Vol. 9 (1), pp. e33571
Purpose To reduce the individual, societal, and economic burden of the high sick leave rates due to chronic pain, it is essential to find effective strategies for increasing return to work (RTW). Although multimodal rehabilitation programs (MMRPs) may have positive effects on RTW, the results are inconsistent. This study explores the factors that contribute to decreasing sick leave and increasing RTW in patients with chronic pain who completed a MMRP. Methods Four focus groups and three individual interviews were conducted. In total, 18 patients were interviewed. All patients had chronic pain and had completed a MMRP. They were either employed or unemployed, either working to some degree or fully on sick leave. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results Three main categories were identified: Knowledge and understanding-prerequisites for tailored solutions; Individual adaptations-necessary but difficult to implement; and Stakeholder collaboration-needs improvement. Conclusion The participants described a variety of facilitating and limiting factors that created complex prerequisites for RTW. This finding makes it clear that these patients need tailored interventions and strong collaboration among all stakeholders throughout the rehabilitation process. Tailored interventions and collaborations could improve the effectiveness of MMRPs. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Patients with chronic pain need tailored solutions and adaptations based on their individual needs in the RTW rehabilitation process. To return to work, patients with chronic pain needs support to strengthen their selfconfidence and to be prepared with knowledge and strategies about their abilities and their rights and obligations in relation to the labour market. A well-designed and communicated RTW rehabilitation plan supports the patient in the RTW rehabilitation process. To improve the possibility for employees and employers to create a sustainable work situation, stakeholder reconciliation meetings should be held routinely over time to strengthen the transfer of knowledge and collaboration.
© Svanholm F, Liedberg GM, Löfgren M, Björk M, Disability and rehabilitation, 2022 Mar; Vol. 44 (5), pp. 736-744
Purpose To study return to work (RTW) at 2-year follow-up in a randomised controlled trial comparing brief intervention (BI) and multidisciplinary intervention (MDI) in employees on sick leave due to low back pain (LBP) stratified for job relations. Methods In total 476 employees on sick leave for 4-12 weeks due to LBP were divided into strata with weak or strong job relations, based on perceived risk of losing job and influence on job planning. In each stratum participants were allocated to BI or MDI. All participants received BI, i.e. a clinical examination by a rheumatologist and physiotherapist. In addition, MDI involved a case manager who made a rehabilitation plan in collaboration with the participant. The primary outcome was time to RTW. Secondary outcomes were median weeks in different employment status and selfreported pain, disability and psychological health. Sustained RTW was estimated by work status the last 4 weeks before the 2-year date. Results Participants with strong job relations who received BI had a higher RTW rate (hazard ratio = 0.74 (95% CI 0.57; 0.96)) and spent more weeks working than participants who received MDI. In the stratum of weak job relations, no difference was seen regarding RTW and weeks working. For health-related outcomes and sustained RTW no significant results were found in neither stratum. Conclusions Employees with strong job relations achieved higher RTW rates when receiving BI compared to MDI, while no difference was found between intervention groups for employees with weak job relations.
© Pedersen KKW; Langagergaard V; Jensen OK; Nielsen CV; Sørensen VN; Pedersen P, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Feb 11
Purpose Low back pain is associated with disability and lost productivity due to inability of workers to return to work. Personal recovery expectation beliefs may be associated with return to work outcomes in those with low back pain at high risk for chronic disability. We aimed to (1) assess whether workers' expectations for return to work, following a low back pain episode, are associated with subsequent return to work; and (2) explore the relationships between return to work expectations and other prognostic factors in their association with work outcomes. Methods We conducted an Individual Participant Data (IPD) meta-analysis using data from five prospective cohort studies identified by a Cochrane prognostic factor review. A one-stage IPD meta-analysis approach was applied. Multi-level mixed effects models were used to determine the unadjusted and adjusted associations between expectations and return to work (logistic regression) and time to return to work (parametric survival models with Weibull distribution). Results The final dataset included 2302 participants. Positive expectations for return to work were associated with return to work at follow-up in both unadjusted (Odds Ratio (OR) 2.95; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 2.21, 3.95) (n = 2071) and comprehensively adjusted (OR 2.01; 95% CI 1.46, 2.77) (n = 1109) models. Similar findings were identified for shorter length of time to return to work in both unadjusted (HR 2.40; 95% CI 2.09, 2.75) (n = 1156) and minimally adjusted (HR 2.43; 95% CI 2.12, 2.79) (n = 1154) models. Conclusions Results suggest workers with low expectations for return to work are at increased risk for long-term work disability.
© Sullivan V; Wilson MN; Gross DP; Jensen OK; Shaw WS; Steenstra IA; Hayden JA, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2022 Feb 12
Purpose To investigate the rates of return to work and workability among working-age people following total hip arthroplasty (THA). Methods Participants from the Geneva Arthroplasty Registry and the Clinical Outcomes for Arthroplasty Study aged 18-64 years when they had primary THA and with at least 5 years' follow-up were mailed a questionnaire 2017-2019. Information was collected about preoperative and post-THA employment along with exposure to physically demanding activities at work or in leisure. Patterns of change of job were explored. Survival analyses using Cox proportional hazard models were created to explore risk factors for having to stop work because of difficulties with the replaced hip. Results In total, 825 returned a questionnaire (response 58%), 392 (48%) men, mean age 58 years, median follow-up 7.5 years post-THA. The majority (93%) of those who worked preoperatively returned to work, mostly in the same sector but higher rates of non-return (36%-41%) were seen among process, plant and machine operatives and workers in elementary occupations. 7% reported subsequently leaving work because of their replaced hip and the risk of this was strongly associated with: standing >4 hours/day (HR 3.81, 95% CI 1.62 to 8.96); kneeling/squatting (HR 3.32, 95% CI 1.46 to 7.55) and/or carrying/lifting >=10 kg (HR 5.43, 95% CI 2.29 to 12.88). Conclusions It may be more difficult to return to some (particularly physically demanding) jobs post-THA than others. Rehabilitation may need to be targeted to these types of workers or it may be that redeployment or job change counselling are required.
© Zaballa E, Ntani G, Harris EC, Lubbeke A, Arden NK, Hannouche D, Cooper C, Walker-Bone K, Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2022 Jan 13.
Purpose In Germany, behavioural medical rehabilitation programmes have been implemented for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and additional mental health comorbidity. The aim of this cohort study is to assess the relative effectiveness of behavioural medical rehabilitation under real-life conditions. Methods DESIGN: Participants received either a common or behavioural medical rehabilitation programme. Propensity score matching was used to provide balanced samples of both groups (German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00016404). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 360 patients treated in behavioural medical rehabilitation were compared with 360 matched controls. The mean age of study participants was approximately 53.5 years (standard deviation (SD)=7.0 years) and 74.0% were women. Results No significant and clinical meaningful differences were found in return to work, applications for disability pension, and the number of patients receiving social security benefits in the year after rehabilitation. However, participants in behavioural medical rehabilitation reported better self-rated work ability, physical functioning and self-management skills, and decreased pain disability and fear-avoidance beliefs 10 months after rehabilitation. Standardized effect sizes were between 0.13 and 0.22. Conclusion Behavioural medical rehabilitation had no clinical meaningful effect on maintaining and restoring work ability. However, behavioural medical rehabilitation affected pain and disease management skills 10 months after completing the rehabilitation programme.
© Markus M, Euhus A, Bethge M, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 54:jrm00248, 2022 Jan 11.
Purpose Chronic pain is a major reason for sick leave worldwide. Interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs (IPRPs), workplace interventions, and stakeholder collaboration may support patients in their return to work (RTW). Few studies have examined stakeholders' experiences of important components in the RTW rehabilitation process for patients with chronic pain, especially in the context of IPRP. This study explores and describes stakeholders' experiences with stakeholder collaboration and factors related to RTW for patients with chronic pain who have participated in IPRP. Methods Six focus groups, three pair and four individual interviews were conducted with a total of 28 stakeholder representatives from three societal and three health care stakeholders. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results The participants revealed that stakeholder collaboration and a tailored RTW rehabilitation plan were important strategies although they noted that these strategies were not working sufficiently efficient as presently implemented. The different stakeholders' paradigms and organizational prerequisites were described as hindrances of such strategies and that the degree of tailoring depended on individual attitudes. Conclusions More knowledge transfer and flexibility, clearer responsibilities, and better coordination throughout the RTW rehabilitation process may increase the efficiency of stakeholder collaboration and support for patients. Implications for rehabilitation: Stakeholders need to have a close dialogue initiated before IPRP to be able to reach consensus and shared decision making in the RTW rehabilitation plan throughout the RTW rehabilitation process. Individually tailored solutions based on a thorough assessment of each patient's work ability and context are identified during IPRP and shall be included in the shared RTW rehabilitation plan. The responsibilities of the stakeholders need to be clarified and documented in the RTW rehabilitation plan. The role of RCs should be developed to improve the coordination throughout the patients' RTW rehabilitation process.
© Svanholm F, Liedberg GM, Lofgren M, Bjork M, Disability & Rehabilitation, 2022 Jan 21.
Purpose Case management interventions have shown to be effective to prevent musculoskeletal pain and disability, but a single definition has not been achieved, nor an agreed profile for case managers. Objective: To describe the elements that define case management and case managers tasks for return-to-work of workers with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Methods A comprehensive computerized search of articles published in English until February 16, 2021 was carried out in several bibliographic databases. Grey literature was obtained through a search of 13 key websites. A peer-review screening of titles and abstracts was carried out. Full text in-depth analysis of the selected articles was performed for data extraction and synthesis of results. Results We identified 2,422 documents. After full-text screening 31 documents were included for analysis. These were mostly European and North American and had an experimental design. Fifteen documents were published between 2010 to 2021 and of these 7 studies were published from 2015. Fifteen elements were identified being the commonest "return-to-work programme" (44.4%) and "multidisciplinary assessment/interdisciplinary intervention" (44.4%). Of 18 tasks found, the most frequent was "establishing goals and planning return-to-work rehabilitation" (57.7%). Eighteen referral services were identified. Conclusions Despite there were several elements frequently reported, some elements with scientific evidence of their importance to deal with MSDs (e.g. early return-to-work) were almost not mentioned. This study proposes key points for the description of case management and case managers tasks..
© Soler-Font M, Ramada JM, Montero-Moraga JM, Palencia-Sánchez F, Merelles A, Macdonald EB, Serra C, Work, 2021 Nov 25
Purpose The quality and reliability of the results of primary total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA, TKA) have allowed indications to be extended to younger, working-age patients, raising the issue of return to work. This question has never been specifically addressed in THA and TKA in a French population. We therefore conducted a retrospective study to determine 1) the rates and intervals of return to work, and 2) factors affecting return to work and reasons for non-return. Hypothesis: Rates and intervals of return to work are comparable to those in Western countries as a whole: 1.1-10.5 weeks in THA and 8-12 weeks in TKA. Methods A single-center retrospective study included patients aged under 65 at surgery, between 2009 and 2013. A questionnaire collected population and occupational data. The patients' occupational situation was collected at a minimum 1 year postoperatively. During the study period, 289 TKAs or THAs were performed; 241 patients were recontacted, 144 of whom had been working at the time of surgery: 72 THAs and 72 TKAs. The sex-ratio was well balanced: 69 males, 75 females. Mean age was 55.8 ± 8 years (range, 18.6-65.7 years). The mean time from surgery to data collection was 34.5 months (95% CI, 32.2-36.8 months). Results 86 patients (57.6%) returned to work, at a mean 124 days (range, 15-540 days; 95% CI, 102.8-144.4 days). At 3 months, 55.4% of patients (n = 46) had returned to work, and 97.6% (n = 81) at 12 months. In most cases, patients returned to the same occupation. Conclusion The study hypothesis was not confirmed. French primary THA or TKA patients returned to work later and less frequently than in other Western countries.
© Mangin M, Galliot F, Houfani F, Baumann C, Mainard D, Orthopaedics & traumatology, surgery & research, 2021 Dec 01, pp. 103163
Purpose Building on an emerging body of evidence, this scoping review aimed to provide an overview of current interventions to promote work-focused care by healthcare providers for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions and to identify current knowledge gaps for future research. Methods Literature searches were performed in Pubmed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and PsycInfo using Medical Subject Heading terms and text words relating to musculoskeletal conditions, interventions to promote work-focused care and work-related outcomes. Articles involving any interventions with elements of work-focused care delivered by healthcare providers to manage musculoskeletal conditions were reviewed for suitability and inclusion. Results A total of 22 articles (18 intervention trials) were identified. Most studies were multidisciplinary interventions incorporating one or more elements of work-focused care including: work-related assessment to identify barriers to working, vocational advice/coaching or education to address barriers to working, involvement of the workplace stakeholders, restoration of fitness for work and regular communication with multidisciplinary team members. Most studies (61 %) concluded that their interventions achieved the desired work-related outcomes although firm conclusions could not be made regarding the effectiveness of a particular component, content or strategy of work-focused care itself because of the variability in the type and number of elements and outcomes used. Conclusions There is good evidence demonstrating the potential for healthcare providers to improve work outcomes for those with musculoskeletal conditions. Additional training is required to increase confidence in this area of practice. Accepting that work-focused care is important, however, does not diminish the challenge it presents.
© Xie Y, Hutting N, Bartys S, Johnston V, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2021 Dec; Vol 31(4), pp.840-865
Purpose Musculoskeletal injuries occur frequently after road traffic crashes (RTCs), and the effect on work participation is not fully understood. The primary aim of this review was to determine the impact of sustaining a musculoskeletal injury during an RTC on the rate of return to work (RTW), sick leave, and other work outcomes. The secondary aim was to determine factors associated with these work-related outcomes. Methods An electronic search of relevant databases to identify observational studies related to work and employment, RTC, and musculoskeletal injuries was conducted. Where possible, outcome data were pooled by follow-up period to answer the primary aim. Results Fifty-three studies were included in this review, of which 28 were included in meta-analyses. The pooled rate of RTW was 70% at 1 month, 67% at 3 months, 76% at 6 months, 83% at 12 months, and 70% at 24 months. Twenty-seven percent of participants took some sick leave by one month follow-up, 13% by 3 months, 23% by 6 months, 36% by 12 months, and 22% by 24 months. Most of the factors identified as associated with work outcomes were health-related, with some evidence also for sociodemographic factors. While 70% of people with RTC-related musculoskeletal injury RTW shortly after accident, many still have not RTW two years later.
© Gane EM, Plinsinga ML, Brakenridge CL, Smits EJ, Aplin T, Johnston V, International journal of environmental research and public health, 2021 Nov 01; Vol. 18 (21)
Purpose Sick leave due to musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the neck/shoulders and back, is one of the major public health problems in Western countries such as Sweden. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of return to work (RTW) among women on sick leave due to long-term neck/shoulder and/or back pain. Methods This was a prospective cohort study with a 1-year follow-up. The study participants were recruited from a local Swedish Social Insurance Agency register and had all been on sick leave for ≥ 1 month due to long-term (≥ 3 months) neck/shoulder and/or back pain. Data on predictors and outcome were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 208 women aged 23-64 years were included at baseline, and 141 responded at the 1-year follow-up. Cluster analyses were performed to identify one predictor from each cluster for use in the regression model. Results At the 1-year follow-up, 94 of the 141 women had RTW and 47 had not. Women who engaged in more coping through increasing behavioral activities (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.03-1.25) and those who more strongly believed they would return to the same work within 6 months (OR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.10-1.37) had an increased probability of RTW. Receiving more social support outside work (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.28-0.92) decreased the odds of RTW at the 1-year follow-up. Conclusions Behavioral activities, beliefs about returning to the same work, and social support outside work were predictors of RTW at the 1-year follow-up. Healthcare professionals should consider these predictors in their efforts to prevent prolonged sick leave and to promote RTW in this population.
© Rashid M, Kristofferzon ML, Nilsson A, PloS one, 2021 Nov 23; Vol. 16 (11), pp. e0260490
Purpose The objective of this study was to conduct a fidelity evaluation of a motivational interviewing (MI) intervention delivered by social insurance caseworkers, in a three-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) for improving return to work for people on sick leave with musculoskeletal disorders. Methods The caseworkers received six days of MI training, including an intervention manual prior to the trial onset, as well as supervision throughout the trial. The caseworkers recorded 21 MI sessions at regular intervals during the trial. An independent MI analysis center scored the recordings using the MI treatment integrity code (MITI 4). In addition, three experienced MI trainers assessed the adherence to the MI intervention manual on a 1-4 Likert scale and MI competence. Results Total MITI 4 mean scores were at beginning proficiency levels for two components (global technical, mean 3.0; SD 0.6 and the reflections/questions ratio, mean 1.1; SD 0.2) and under beginning proficiency for two components (global relational, mean 3.2; SD 0.7 and complex question, mean 34.0; SD 21.2). The MI trainers' assessment showed similar results. The mean adherence score for the MI sessions was 2.96 (SD 0.9). Conclusions Despite delivering a thorough course and supervision package, most of the caseworkers did not reach proficiency levels of good MI competence during the study. The fidelity evaluation showed that a large amount of training, supervision and practice is needed for caseworkers to become competent MI providers. When planning to implement MI, it is important that thorough consideration is given regarding the resources and the time needed to train caseworkers to provide MI in a social insurance setting.
© Løchting I, Hagen R, Monsen CK, Grotle M, Storheim K, Aanesen F, Øiestad BE, Eik H, Bagøien G, International journal of environmental research and public health, 2021 Sep 30; Vol. 18 (19)
Purpose In Germany, behavioural medical rehabilitation programmes have been implemented for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and additional mental health comorbidity. The aim of this cohort study is to assess the relative effectiveness of behavioural medical rehabilitation under real-life conditions. Methods Participants received either a common or behavioural medical rehabilitation programme. Propensity score matching was used to provide balanced samples of both groups Participants: A total of 360 patients treated in behavioural medical rehabilitation were compared with 360 matched controls. The mean age of study participants was approximately 53.5 years (standard deviation (SD)=7.0 years) and 74.0% were women. Results No significant and clinical meaningful differences were found in return to work, applications for disability pension, and the number of patients receiving social security benefits in the year after rehabilitation. However, participants in behavioural medical rehabilitation reported better self-rated work ability, physical functioning and self-management skills, and decreased pain disability and fear-avoidance beliefs 10 months after rehabilitation. Standardized effect sizes were between 0.13 and 0.22. Conclusion Behavioural medical rehabilitation had no clinical meaningful effect on maintaining and restoring work ability. However, behavioural medical rehabilitation affected pain and disease management skills 10 months after completing the rehabilitation programme.
© Markus M, Euhus A, Bethge M, Journal of rehabilitation medicine, 2021 Oct 21
Purpose We lack knowledge on whether the advice of “being physically active” should be the same for prevention and rehabilitation of low back pain (LBP). Sickness absence is a key outcome for LBP prevention and rehabilitation. We investigated the associations between physical activity and long-term sickness absence (LTSA) among employees with and without LBP. Methods Between 2011 and 2013, 925 Danish employees wore a Actigraph GTX3 accelerometer for 1–5 workdays to measure physical activity and reported LBP in past 7 days. Employees were followed for 4 years to determine their first register-based LTSA event (≥ 6 consecutive weeks). Results Among employees with LBP, increasing moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity at work by 20 min and decreasing the remaining behaviors at work (ie., sitting, standing and light-intensity activity) by 20 min was associated with 38% (95% CI 17%; 63%) higher LTSA risk. Increasing light-intensity activity at work by 20 min and decreasing 20 min from the remaining behaviors was associated with 18% (95% CI 4%; 30%) lower risk. During leisure, increasing moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity by 20 min or standing by 40 min was associated with 26% (95% CI 3%; 43%) lower and 37% (95% CI 0%; 87%) higher risk, respectively. Among employees without LBP, we found no such associations. Conclusions The physical activity advice ought to be different for LBP prevention and rehabilitation to reduce LTSA risk, and specified by domain and activity intensity. At work, employees with LBP should be advised to spend time on light-intensity physical activity and limit their time on moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity. During leisure, employees should spend time on moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity.
© Gupta N, Rasmussen CL, Hartvigsen J, Mortensen OS, Clays E, Bültmann U, Holtermann A, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2021 Oct 9
Purpose To perform a process evaluation of a stratified vocational advice intervention (SVAI), delivered by physiotherapists in primary care, for people on sick leave with musculoskeletal disorders participating in a randomised controlled trial. The research questions concerned how the SVAI was delivered, the content of the SVAI and the physiotherapists’ experiences from delivering the SVAI. Methods We used qualitative and quantitative data from 148 intervention logs documenting the follow-up provided to each participant, recordings of 18 intervention sessions and minutes from 20 meetings with the physiotherapists. The log data were analysed with descriptive statistics. A qualitative content analysis was performed of the recordings, and we identified facilitators and barriers for implementation from the minutes. Results Of 170 participants randomised to the SVAI 152 (89%) received the intervention and 148 logs were completed. According to the logs, 131 participants received the correct number of sessions (all by telephone) and 146 action plans were developed. The physiotherapists did not attend any workplace meetings but contacted stakeholders in 37 cases. The main themes from the recorded sessions were: ‘symptom burden’, ‘managing symptoms’, ‘relations with the workplace’ and ‘fear of not being able to manage work’. The physiotherapists felt they were able to build rapport with most participants. However, case management was hindered by the restricted number of sessions permitted according to the protocol. Conclusion Overall, the SVAI was delivered in accordance with the protocol and is therefore likely to be implementable in primary care if it is effective in reducing sick leave.
© Aanesen F, Øiestad BE, Grotle M, Løchting I, Solli R, Sowden G, Wynne-Jones G, Storheim K, Eik H, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2021 Oct 4
Purpose Both personal and work-related factors affect return to work (RTW) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA). Little is known about work-related factors associated with the recovery process. This study aimed to determine which work-related factors are associated with time to RTW for both TKA and THA patients. Methods A prospective multicenter survey study was conducted that included patients aged 18–63, had a paid job and were scheduled to undergo primary TKA/THA. Surveys were completed preoperatively, 6 weeks, and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, and included four domains of work-related factors: work characteristics, physical working conditions, psychosocial working conditions and work adjustments. Control variables included age, sex, education, and comorbidity. Time to RTW was defined as days from surgery until RTW. Multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted separately for TKA/THA patients. Results Enrolled were 246 patients (n = 146 TKA, n = 100 THA, median age 56 years, 57% female). Median time to RTW was 79 days (IQR 52.0–146.0). Mainly physical tasks (TKA: B 58.2, 95%CI 9.5–106.8; THA: B 52.1, 95%CI 14.1–90.2) and a combination of physical and mental tasks (TKA: B 50.2, 95%CI 6.4–94.0; THA B 54.0, 95%CI 24.2–83.7) were associated with longer time to RTW after both TKA and THA. More possibilities for personal job development (B − 12.8, 95%CI − 25.3–0.4) and more work recognition (B − 13.2, 95%CI − 25.5 to − 0.9) were significantly associated with shorter time to RTW after TKA. Higher quality of supervisor leadership (B − 14.1, 95%CI − 22.2 to − 6.0) was significantly associated with shorter time to RTW after THA. Conclusion The findings of this study stress the importance of psychosocial working conditions, besides type of job tasks, in RTW after TKA/THA. Further research on work-related factors is needed, as arthroplasty is being performed on an increasingly younger population of knee and hip OA patients for whom participating in work is of critical importance.
© Kamp T, Brouwer S, Hylkema TH, van Beveren J, Rijk PC, Brouwer RW, Stevens M, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2021 Sep 28
Purpose This study investigates if gradual return to work (GRTW) is associated with full sustainable return to work (RTW) for seriously injured workers with a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), in British Columbia, Canada. Methods This is an effectiveness study using a retrospective cohort study design. Accepted workers' compensation lost-time claims were extracted for workers with an MSD who were on full work disability for at least 30 days, between 2010 and 2015 (n=37 356). Coarsened exact matching yielded a final matched cohort of 12 494 workers who experienced GRTW at any point 30 days post-injury and 12 494 workers without any GRTW. The association between GRTW and sustainable RTW through to end of 12 months was estimated with multivariable quantile regression. Results Workers who were provided with GRTW experienced more time-loss days until sustainable RTW between the 2nd and 5th months after the first time-loss day (<50th quantile of time loss), but less time-loss days until sustainable RTW between the 6th and 12th months of work disability (70th quantile of time loss), with the largest effect for women, workers with soft-tissue injuries and workers in the manufacturing or trades sector (all in the 60th and 70th percentile, after 6-7 months of time loss). Conclusions For seriously injured workers with at least 30 days of disability due to a work-acquired MSD, the effect of GRTW becomes apparent at longer disability durations (more than 6 months), with larger beneficial effects for women, workers with soft-tissue injuries and for trade and manufacturing sectors.
© Maas ET, Koehoorn M, McLeod CB, Occupational and environmental medicine, 2021 Oct; Vol. 78 (10), pp. 715-723
Purpose To identify factors impeding or facilitating Return to Work (RTW) after minor to serious musculoskeletal Road Traffic Injuries (RTI). Methods Six electronic databases were searched for studies published 1997-2020 Quantitative and qualitative studies were included if they investigated barriers or facilitators associated with RTW in people with minor to serious musculoskeletal RTI aged over 16 years. Methodological quality was assessed using McMaster Critical Review Form for Quantitative studies and McMaster Critical Review Form for Qualitative Studies. Results are presented narratively as meta-analysis was not possible. Results Eleven studies (10 quantitative and 1 qualitative) were included. There was strong evidence that individuals with higher overall scores on the (short-form or long-form) Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire (ÖMPQ) at baseline were less likely to RTW, and individuals with higher RTW expectancies at baseline were more likely to RTW after musculoskeletal RTI. There was weak evidence for higher disability levels and psychiatric history impeding RTW after musculoskeletal RTI. Conclusions Post-injury scores on the ÖMPQ and RTW expectancies are the most influential factors for RTW after minor to serious musculoskeletal RTI. There is a need to identify consistent measures of RTW to facilitate comparisons between studies.
© Abedi M, Gane E, Aplin T, Zerguine H, Johnston V, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Jul 09
Purpose Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is a common cause of work absence. The recent SWAP (Study of Work And Pain) randomised controlled trial (RCT) found that a brief vocational advice service for primary care patients with MSK pain led to fewer days' work absence and provided good return-on-investment. The I-SWAP (Implementation of the Study of Work And Pain) initiative aimed to deliver an implementation test-bed of the SWAP vocational advice intervention with First Contact Practitioners (FCP). This entailed adapting the SWAP vocational advice training to fit the FCP role. This qualitative investigation explored the implementation potential of FCPs delivering vocational advice for patients with MSK pain. Methods Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with 10 FCPs and 5 GPs. Data were analysed thematically and findings explored using Normalisation Process Theory (NPT). Results I-SWAP achieved a degree of 'coherence' (i.e. made sense), with both FCPs and GPs feeling FCPs were well-placed to discuss work issues with these patients. However, for many of the FCPs, addressing or modifying psychosocial and occupational barriers to return-to-work was not considered feasible within FCP consultations, and improving physical function was prioritised. Concerns were also raised that employers would not act on FCPs' recommendations regarding return-to-work. Conclusion FCPs appear well-placed to discuss work issues with MSK patients, and signpost/refer to other services; however, because they often only see patients once they are less suited to deliver other aspects of vocational advice. Future research is needed to explore how best to provide vocational advice in primary care settings.
© Saunders B, Foster NE, Hill JC, Sowden G, Evans N, Bishop A, Stynes S, Dziedzic K, Campbell L, Rankin G, Salmon P, Wynne-Jones G, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2021 Jul 09
Purpose Return to work (RTW) is an important outcome in Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA). At present, 70-80%of TKA patients return to work within three to six months. What are patients' perspectives regarding beneficial and limiting factors in RTW after TKA? Methods Focus groups were formed in accordance with the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist. Three major topics were explored: 1. What was beneficial for RTW after TKA; 2. What was limiting for RTW after TKA; and 3. What additional care would benefit RTW after TKA? Results Data saturation was reached after four focus groups, comprising 17 participants-nine men and eight women (median age 58, range 52-65). The focus group study identified four main themes that contributed to a successful RTW namely rehabilitation (medical) like post-operative physical therapy, patient characteristics (personal), like motivation to RTW, occupational characteristics (work-related) like build-up in work tasks and medical support (medical) like availability of a walker or crutches. Conclusion According to participants, factors within the following four themes can contribute to a successful return to work: occupational, patient, rehabilitation and medical care. Incorporating these factors into the integrated care pathway for the "young" TKA patients may increase the chances of a successful RTW.
© Pahlplatz TMJ, Schafroth MU, Krijger C, Hylkema TH, van Dijk CN, Frings-Dresen MHW, Kuijer PPFM, Work, 2021 Jun 25
Purpose An ageing workforce means that our understanding of return to work following total hip and knee replacement is of increasing importance. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the views and experiences of clinicians in treating working patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews in primary and secondary National Health Service care using framework methodology. A total of 40 interviews were conducted. Participants included 12 hospital-based Allied Health Professionals and nurses, 12 orthopedic surgeons, and 16 General Practitioners. Data were analyzed thematically. Results A key theme concerned participants' perceptions and experiences around the process and practice of listing working patients for total hip or knee replacement. Four sub-themes were identified; the perceived likelihood of listing employed patients for surgery, expectations and outcomes of surgery, the impact of work issues, and referral procedures and waiting lists. Conclusions Decisions around listing working patients for total hip and knee replacement are complex and difficult. Clinicians need to consistently consider patients' work issues, and to be supported in this by appropriate commissioning and service delivery decisions. Further research is indicated to better understand the work-related expectations and anticipated outcomes of both patients and clinicians, and the optimum timing of surgery to maintain and improve patients' work performance.Implications for rehabilitation. Clinicians need to consistently consider patients' work issues, and current evidence, in their consultations and decisions regarding total hip and knee replacement.Clinical practice should reflect the growing proportion of working patients undergoing total hip and knee replacement, and routinely measure work outcomes.Changes are required at commissioning and service levels to support clinicians in changing their practice with this patient population.
© Coole C, Nouri F, Narayanasamy M, Baker P, Drummond A, Disability and rehabilitation, 2021 May; Vol. 43 (9), pp.1247-1254
Purpose This study aims to evaluate the current literature with regard to the average time to and overall rate of return to work (RTW) following medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). Methods A systematic search was conducted on MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase, Pubmed, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library to identify studies reporting RTW after UKA. Primary outcomes were the rate and time to RTW after UKA. Secondary outcomes were postoperative changes in work intensity, functional scores, and factors affecting RTW. Methodological quality was evaluated using the the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) criteria. Results Seven studies met inclusion criteria. Results were summarized qualitatively. The overall methodological quality of the studies was moderate based on the MINORS score. These studies included 636 patients with 46.5% male. Mean age was 63.1 years. The average rate of RTW was 81.7%. The average time to RTW was 5.4 ± 3.9 weeks (range 1-32 weeks). 81.8% of patients in one study returned to an equally or more physically demanding job, while 83.5% were able to work the same or longer hours postoperatively in another study. Functional scores improved after surgery (n = 6 studies). Factors affecting RTW were postoperative rehabilitation, retirement, and the effects of surgery. Conclusion Limited evidence from the included studies with moderate quality suggests that UKA allows patients to RTW faster, with a high rate of RTW and improved functional outcomes. However, consensus definitions and methods of work status analysis are needed for future studies.
© Ng HJH, Loke WJ, James Liang Hao W, The Knee, 2021 May 07; Vol. 30, pp. 254-266