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Consultez les résultats de notre veille scientifique d'avril 2024!

Incapacité et retour au travail

Purpose Research demonstrates sustained return to work (RTW) by individuals on medical leave is influenced by personal and job resources and job demands. Relatively few studies have been conducted in the workers' compensation context that is known to have longer absence durations for RTW. This study sought to illuminate workers' experience as they returned to work following a work injury that was either psychological in nature or involved more than 50 days of disability, with a focus on the co-worker, supervisor, and employer actions that supported their return. Methods Workers in Saskatchewan, Canada, with a work-related psychological or musculoskeletal injury, subsequent disability, and who returned to work in the last three years, were invited to complete an online survey comprising of free-text questions. Thematic analysis was used to explore participants' experiences. Results Responses from 93 individuals were analysed. These revealed that persistent pain, emotional distress, and loss of normal abilities were present during and beyond returning to work. Almost two-thirds indicated that the supervisors' and co-workers' support was critical to a sustained return to work: their needs were recognized and they received autonomy and support to manage work demands. By contrast, one-third indicated that the support they expected and needed from supervisors and employers was lacking. Conclusions Workers returning to work lacked personal resources but co-workers' and supervisors' support helped improve confidence in their ability to RTW. Supervisors and employers should acknowledge workers' experiences and offer support and autonomy. Likewise, workers can expect challenges when returning to work and may benefit from cultivating supportive relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

© Lewis I; Houdmont J. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 5:1373888, 2024.

Purpose Rates of return to work (RTW) are declining in the Australian workers compensation system alongside significant economic and social costs, disputes, and secondary psychological injury. Non-medical assessment of workplace injuries now considers psychosocial and workplace factors, and worker participation in the assessment process is limited. This scoping review examines studies regarding non-medical assessment during the acute phase of rehabilitation in terms of costs, disputes, secondary psychological injury, and worker participation. Methods An electronic and manual search of relevant articles across four databases was conducted using PRISMA guidelines, followed by quality assessment. Results Of the 1,630 studies retrieved, 12 met the inclusion criteria with most focused on assessment for risk of obstructed or delayed RTW. Conclusions Non-medical assessment in the acute stage of rehabilitation identifies risk for delayed or complicated RTW, overlooking potential for the process of assessment to contribute to disputes and development of secondary psychological injury. Doubt around the capacity of workers to participate objectively in assessment persists. These are aspects of assessment worthy of further exploration for their impact on RTW outcomes.

© Anderson O; McLennan V; Buys N; Randall C. Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-11, 2024 Apr 09.

Purpose Value-based healthcare delivery focuses on optimizing care provided by measuring the healthcare outcomes which are most important to the clients relative to the total care costs. However, the understanding of what adds value for clients during work disability assessment is lacking. Objective: To explore what medical examiners (MEs) perceive as valuable during the work disability assessment process, by exploring possible: 1) facilitators, 2) barriers and 3) opportunities to add value for the client during the work disability assessment. Methods For this explorative qualitative study, 7 semi-structured interviews were conducted with MEs in the Netherlands. Thematic coding was performed for all interviews. Results A large variety of facilitators (n = 22), barriers (n = 17) and opportunities (n = 11) were identified and inductively subdivided into four main themes: 1) coherent process, including all time related aspects, 2) interdisciplinary collaboration, including all aspects related to the collaboration between the ME and other professionals, 3) client-centred interaction, including all aspects related to the supportive interplay from the ME towards the client, and 4) information provision on all aspects during the work disability assessment process towards the client to ensure a valuable work disability assessment process. Conclusions The overview of identified possible facilitators, barriers and opportunities to add value for clients from the perspective of the ME may stimulate improvement in the current work disability assessment practice and to better match the client needs.

© Hagendijk ME; Tan Z; Melles M; Hoving JL; van der Burg-Vermeulen SJ; Zipfel N. Work.  2024 Apr 08.

Purpose The aim of this qualitative study was to explore ways that employer support influenced successful return to work (RTW) in workers with disabilities. Methods We conducted a semi-structured interview study among 27 workers with disabilities in the Netherlands who received a partial disability benefit two years after sick leave and who continued working in paid (part-time) employment after a period of long-term sickness absence (> 2 years). We analyzed data by means of thematic analysis. Results We identified four types of employer support that were experienced as factors of successful RTW: 1. Supervisor accessibility; 2. Supervisor engagement; 3. Supervisor strategies; and 4. Supervisor-initiated work accommodations. More specifically, during the preparations for RTW phase, the supervisor's active role involved having a positive and open attitude toward facilitating RTW; during the initial RTW phase, the supervisor's role involved being creative in finding solutions for work accommodations; and during the sustained RTW phase, the supervisor's role included helping workers who still needed changes in their work situations. Conclusion The elements of successful employer support reveals that the pressure on the shoulders of the supervisor is high. Future research should further investigate whether supervisors need more phase-specific training from their organization.

© Jansen J; Brouwer S; Alma MA; Boot CRL. Disability & Rehabilitation. 1-8, 2024 Apr 25.

Trouble musculosquelettique

Purpose To determine the prospective association of pain coping strategies and symptoms of anxiety and depression with work absenteeism in people with upper limb musculoskeletal disorders. Methods A systematic search of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases was conducted from inception to September 23, 2022. Prospective observational studies of adults with upper limb musculoskeletal disorders were included. Included studies had to provide data on the association of pain coping strategies (catastrophizing, kinesiophobia, self-efficacy or fear avoidance) or symptoms of anxiety and depression with work absenteeism. Study selection, data extraction, and assessment of methodological quality (Newcastle Ottawa Scale) were performed by 2 independent authors. Random-effects models were used for quantitative synthesis. Results Eighteen studies (n=12,393 participants) were included. Most studies (77.8%) reported at least 1 significant association between 1 or more exposure factors (pain coping strategies or symptoms of anxiety and depression) and work absenteeism. Meta-analyses showed a statistically significant correlation between the exposure factors of catastrophizing (r=0.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.15 to 0.40; P<.0001) and symptoms of anxiety and depression (r=0.23, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.34; P=.0003) with work absenteeism. The correlation between self-efficacy and work absenteeism was non-significant (r=0.24, 95% CI: -0.02 to 0.47; P=.0747). Conclusions Rehabilitation teams should consider assessing catastrophizing and symptoms of anxiety and depression to identify patients at risk for work absenteeism. Addressing these variables may also be considered in return-to-work programs for individuals with upper limb disorders.

© Nunez-Cortes R; Espin A; Perez-Alenda S; Lopez-Bueno R; Cruz-Montecinos C; Vincents-Seeberg KG; Puschel TA; Calatayud J; Andersen LL. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 105(4):781-791, 2024 Apr.

Purpose Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the most recurrent diseases among manual workers worldwide. The objective of this study was to analyze primary results of a systematic review on ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, treatment, and return to work in blue-collar workers to form a new conceptual framework applicable to intervention programs in this area. Methods This study was based on the available scientific evidence we identified. Descriptive data and their trending topics areas were used to form the conceptual framework. Results The trend shows that working conditions can be represented as a three-axis scheme with a multidimensional conceptual framework considering ergonomic risks, the treatment of affected workers and the determinants related to working conditions. Conclusion These results may help future research in the field of ergonomics as well as emerging topics focused on intervention programs.

© Hacay Chang A; Bolanos F; Sanchis-Almenara M; Gomez-Garcia A. Archivos de Prevencion de Riesgos Laborales. 27(2):190-196, 2024 Apr 15.

Santé mentale

Purpose Best practice guidelines for the recovery and return to work (RTW) of people with mental disorders recommend access to the services of an interdisciplinary team combining pharmacological, psychological and work rehabilitation interventions. In the Canadian context, primary healthcare services are responsible for providing these services for people with common mental disorders, such as depressive or anxiety disorders. However, not everyone has easy access to these recommended primary healthcare services, and previous studies suggest that multiple personal, practice-related and organizational factors can influence the patient's journey. Moreover, previous studies documented that family physicians often work in silos and lack the knowledge and time needed to effectively manage by themselves patients' occupational health. Thus, the care and service trajectories of these patients are often suboptimal and can have important consequences on the person's recovery and RTW. Our study aimed to gain a better understanding of the patient journeys and the factors influencing their access to and experience with primary healthcare services while they were on sick leave due to a common mental disorder. Methods A descriptive qualitative research design was used to understand and describe these factors. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze the verbatim. Results Five themes describe the main factors that influenced the patient's journey of the 14 participants of this study: (1) the fragmented interventions provided by family physicians; (2) patients' autonomy in managing their own care; (3) the attitude and case management provided by the insurer, (4) the employer's openness and understanding and (5) the match between the person's needs and their access to psychosocial and rehabilitation services. Conclusion Our findings highlight important gaps in the collaborative practices surrounding the management of mental health-related sick leave, the coordination of primary healthcare services and the access to work rehabilitation services. Occupational therapists and other professionals can support family physicians in managing sick leaves, strengthen interprofessional and intersectoral collaboration and ensure that patients receive needed services in a timelier manner no matter their insurance coverage or financial needs. Patients or public contribution: This study aimed at looking into the perspective of people who have lived or are currently experiencing a sick leave related to a mental health disorder to highlight the factors which they feel hindered their recovery and RTW. Additionally, two patient partners were involved in this study and are now engaged in the dissemination of the research results and the pursuit of our team research programme to improve services delivered to this population.

© Labourot J; Pinette E; Giguere N; Menear M; Cameron C; Marois E; Vachon B. Health Expectations. 27(2):e14036, 2024 Apr.

Purpose Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent psychological mood disorder that can disrupt one's functioning and result in decreased engagement in daily activities. Psychotherapy, in different approaches, is a common approach for individuals experiencing MDD. Nevertheless, a literature review of the research supporting the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions in patients with MDD-impacted areas of their daily occupations, such as back to work, cognitive deficits, and well-being, has not been conducted. Methods A literature review was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of psychotherapy on daily occupations for individuals diagnosed with MDD. Due to variations in study design and outcome measures, a best evidence synthesis was carried out instead of a meta-analysis. Results Forty-one identified articles were fully assessed in total. These studies were conducted in various countries so that a global approach could be considered comprehensive. The findings showed strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of psychotherapy on return-to-work interventions in improving depressive symptoms. There was limited evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapy on lifestyle interventions in reducing anxiety and suicidal ideation, as well as limited evidence for enhancing work participation. Notably, there were no studies evaluating individualized client-centered psychotherapy interactions with occupations, revealing a research gap. Challenges such as incomplete reporting within studies and study heterogeneity prevented a meta-analysis. Conclusions While the overall evidence base for the effectiveness of psychotherapy for MDD in treating functionality is limited, the findings provide strong support for the efficacy of occupational therapy return-to-work interventions. This is particularly important given the economic costs associated with mental health issues and work-related absences. Further research is required to strengthen the existing evidence base.

© Iliou K; Balaris D; Dokali AM; Fotopoulos V; Kouletsos A; Katsiana A. Cureus. 16(3):e55831, 2024 Mar.

Purpose Return-to-work (RTW) after absence due to a mental illness is a largely understudied area, especially in industries already struggling with retention like those posing unique and high risks for public or personal safety (i.e., pilots, police officers, and health professionals), otherwise known as safety-sensitive sectors. The goal of this paper is to examine how RTW coordinators work with individuals who took a leave of absence for mental illness in safety-sensitive occupations and navigate the RTW process. Methods Qualitative methodology was utilized to explore the experiences of 47 RTW coordinators who had worked with individuals employed in safety-sensitive industries. The participants were recruited across Canada using convenience sampling to participate in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed, anonymized, uploaded to NVIVO 11, and coded using inductive thematic analysis. Results Our analysis shows that despite the presumed rigidity of occupational health and safety standards for safety-sensitive positions, the notion of "safety" becomes ambiguous in navigating RTW processes, and concerns about safety are often interpreted as the potential risk workers may pose to themselves, other individuals, or the workplace image. Institutional constraints of safety-sensitive jobs shape the ability of RTW coordinators to advocate on behalf of the workers, ultimately placing the workers at a disadvantage by prioritizing safety concerns for organizations over employees' needs. Conclusion It is important to consider how to protect workers in safety-sensitive occupations during the RTW process after absence due to a mental illness to ensure effective integration to the workplace.

© Neiterman E; MacEachen E; McKnight E; Crouch MK; Kaminska K; Malachowski C; Hopwood P, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 2024 Apr 25.


Purpose Despite curative treatment and discharge from acute hospital settings, breast cancer patients often have cancer- and treatment-related morbidity which impairs them from returning to work. Hence, the role of community-based return to work rehabilitation programs is important to help these patients transition back to work. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study involving patients with breast cancer conducted at a community-based cancer rehabilitation center. Patients were involved in an interdisciplinary vocational rehabilitation program involving physiatrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers. Results We recruited 63 patients for this study cohort, with 46 (73.0%) patients <= 60 years old. After undergoing the rehabilitation program, there were 37 (58.7%) participants who successfully returned to work. These participants returned to work at either within 6 months (27.0%), 12 months (29.7%) or 24 months (43.2%) after enrollment into the program, with a majority enrolling in white collar jobs. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that significant negative factors for return to work were advanced stage of cancer (p = 0.004), along with clinically significant fatigue, measured on the Brief Fatigue Inventory (p < 0.001). However, perceived work ability (p = 0.020) was found to be a positive factor.

© Tay MRJ; Wong CJ; Aw HZ. Healthcare. 12(7), 2024 Apr 07.

Purpose Return to work (RTW) after breast cancer (BC) may significantly impact on women recovery and quality of life. Literature hightlighed several factors associated to RTW after BC but there is still some concern about prognostic factors influencing work resumption after BC treatments. The present study aims to explore which baseline factors are associated with RTW at 6-month after BC surgery. Methods The participants in this 6-month prospective study were 149 patients who underwent breast cancer-related surgery and accessed an Oncology Clinic for cancer therapy from March 2017 to December 2019 in Northern Italy. Participants filled in a battery of questionnaires at baseline, and they were asked whether they had returned to work at 6-month follow-up. Psychological measurements included job stress (Job Content Questionnaire), work engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale), quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life- BREF), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), resilience (Connor - Davidson Resilience Scale - 10 item) and personal expectations about RTW (ad-hoc single item). Moreover, sociodemographic, clinical, and work-related data were collected. Independent t-test and Chi-square test were used for comparisons among variables; logistic regression model was used to explore predictors of RTW. Results A total of 73.9 percent returned to work at 6-month after surgery. In the multivariate model, chemotherapy (B = -1.428; SE = 0.520) and baseline women's expectations about their RTW (B = -0.340; DS = 0.156) were significant predictors of RTW. Conclusion These results suggest that careful individual clinical and psychological screening of risk factors at baseline can prevent from occupational disability and long sickness absence.

© Fiabane E; Dordoni P; Perrone C; Bernardo A; Corsi F; Gabanelli P. Women & Health. 64(4):298-307, 2024 Apr.

Purpose We aimed to describe the psychosocial adjustments according to return to work (RTW) trajectories in breast cancer survivors (BCS) using a sequential and temporal approach. Methods We used BCS data included from February 2015 to April 2016 in the Longitudinal Study on Behavioural, Economic and Sociological Changes after Cancer (ELCCA) cohort. RTW trajectories were identified using the sequence analysis method followed by a clustering. Anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the EORTC quality of life questionnaire was used at inclusion and all follow-up visits to assess Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). Results Fifty-two BCS were included in the study among whom four clusters of RTW trajectories were identified and labeled: slow RTW (N = 10), quick RTW (N = 27), partial RTW (N = 8), and part-time work (N = 7). Quick and slow RTW clusters showed slightly lower baseline mean levels of anxiety and higher levels of HRQoL. In the 4 years following diagnosis, BCS in the quick RTW cluster tended to report higher HRQoL in terms of functioning and less symptoms of pain and fatigue while those in the partial RTW cluster showed a lower HRQoL on almost all dimensions. All clusters showed an increase in pain and fatigue symptoms until 6 months followed by a tendency to recover baseline levels. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that BCS who return to full-time work (slow and quick RTW patterns) recover better than patients who return to part-time work (partial and part-time RTW patterns).

© Rubion E; Bourdon M; Sebille V; Blanchin M; Bertin M. Supportive Care in Cancer. 32(5):307, 2024 Apr 25.