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Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate whether an integrated return-to-work (RTW) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) program - the Work Reintegration (WR) program - was associated with reduced work disability duration in the construction sector in Ontario, Canada. Methods Workers' compensation data from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were extracted for lost-time construction worker claims following work-related injuries between 2009 and 2015. Claims receiving referrals to RTW and VR specialists (treatments) were matched with claims receiving no referrals (controls) during the periods before and after the WR program introduction. Multivariable difference-in-differences linear and quantile regression models were used to examine differences in cumulative disability days paid during two-years post-injury between treatment and control groups before and after the program change and the difference in these differences, overall, and at different disability distribution percentiles. Results The WR program introduction was associated with reductions in cumulative disability days paid for all claims but most notably among longer duration claims referred to RTW specialists (reduction of 274 days at the 90 th percentile in the disability distribution) and shorter duration claims referred to VR specialists (reductions of 255 and 214 days at the 25 th and 50 th percentiles in the disability distribution, respectively). Conclusions The WR program introduction was effective in reducing cumulative disability days paid for construction worker claims but the effects varied at different percentiles in the disability distribution, as well as by specialist referral. The findings highlight the benefits of better integrated RTW and VR services to injured workers in the construction sector.
© Macpherson RA, He A, Amick Iii BC, Koehoorn M, McLeod CB, Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 2022 Apr 01; Vol. 48 (3), pp. 229-238
Purpose To identify predictors of return to work, duration of time off work, and claim closure for first responders experiencing injuries or illnesses, and summarize the claim data. Methods First responder claims collected between January 2012 and July 2017 were obtained from a disability management company. Known predictors of return to work were extracted from the data including age, sex, diagnosis, years of service, claim lag, medical report lag, and the return-to-work duties. Survival analyses were performed to identify predictors of return to work and claim closure using the Cox proportional regression analysis. Log-rank tests were performed to identify predictors that affected the rate of return to work and claim closure. Summary statistics were performed for the injury and return-to-work data. Results 60 of the 67 (89.6%) identified first responders returned to work within the data collection period. Musculoskeletal injuries predicted an increased likelihood of returning to work (hazard ratio = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.14-3.60) and a shorter duration of time off work (37 days on average) compared to mental health issues. Everyday of claim lag and medical report lag predicted a 2% decrease in likelihood of return to work. Returning to work was the only predictor of claim closure. 45 (67.2%) first responders returned to their pre-absence duties. 22 (32.8%) mental health claims and 45 (67.2%) injury claims were identified. Conclusions 89.6% of first responders returned to work, although only 67.2% returned to their pre-absence duties. Predictors of return to work included injury type, as first responders with musculoskeletal injuries returned to work sooner, and claim and medical lag delayed the return to work.
© Killip SC, MacDermid JC, Sinden KE, Gewurtz RE, Scott L, International archives of occupational and environmental health, 2022 Apr; Vol. 95 (3), pp. 723-735
Purpose Mental health conditions are a major contributor to productivity loss and are common after injury. This study quantifies postinjury productivity loss and its association with preinjury and postinjury mental health, injury, demographic, health, social and other factors. Methods Multicentre, longitudinal study recruiting hospitalised employed individuals aged 16-69 years with unintentional injuries, followed up at 1, 2, 4 and 12 months. Participants completed questionnaires on injury, demographic factors, health (including mental health), social factors, other factors and on-the-job productivity upon return to work (RTW). ORs were estimated for above median productivity loss using random effects logistic regression. Results 217 adults had made an RTW at 2, 4 or 12 months after injury: 29% at 2 months, 66% at 4 months and 83% at 12 months. Productivity loss reduced over time: 3.3% of working time at 2 months, 1.7% at 4 months, 1% at 12 months. Significantly higher productivity loss was associated with preinjury psychiatric conditions (OR 21.40, 95% CI 3.50 to 130.78) and post-traumatic stress avoidance symptoms at 1 month (OR for 1-unit increase in score 1.15, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.22). Significantly lower productivity loss was associated with male gender (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.74), upper and lower limb injuries (vs other body regions, OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.81) and sports injuries (vs home, OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.78). Preinjury psychiatric conditions and gender remained significant in analysis of multiply imputed data. Conclusions Unintentional injury results in substantial productivity loss. Females, those with preinjury psychiatric conditions and those with post-traumatic stress avoidance symptoms experience greater productivity loss and may require additional support to enable successful RTW.
© Kellezi B, Dhiman P, Coupland C, Whitehead J, Morriss R, Joseph S, Beckett K, Sleney J, Barnes J, Kendrick D, Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention, 2022 Apr; Vol. 28 (2), pp. 131-140
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 Stress-related disorders are common, associated with substantial individual suffering, and place a large economic burden on society. While treatment appears to be able to reduce symptoms, evidence of interventions to improve vocational outcomes is flimsy. Lack of integration of vocational rehabilitation and healthcare services has been suspected to be a major potential barrier in return-to-work (RTW) processes; therefore, we aimed to test the effectiveness of such integration. Methods We randomized participants who were on sick leave for ≥ 4 weeks with a stress-related disorder. They were allocated to (i) service as usual (SAU), (ii) improved mental healthcare (MHC), or (iii) integrated interventions (INT). The primary outcome was RTW rates measured at 12 months. Secondary outcome were RTW rates measured at 6 months, proportion in work at 12 months, and levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and functioning at 6 months. Results We included 666 participants. On the primary outcome and almost all other vocational outcomes, SAU was superior to both INT and MHC. MHC and INT did not differ on any vocational outcome. On several symptom scales, MHC showed lower values than SAU, whilst INT did not differ from the two other groups. Conclusion Both the INT and the MHC intervention lowered RTW rates compared with SAU, and thereby yielded a worse outcome. However, the MHC group showed a tendency towards having lower symptom levels compared with those in the SAU group; accordingly, the SAU group is not unequivocally superior. MHC and INT showed no general differences.
© Hoff A, Fisker J, Poulsen RM, Hjorthøj C, Rosenberg NK, Nordentoft M, Bojesen AB, Eplov LF, Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 2022 Apr 01
Purpose Mental distress is often endured by injured workers participating in the rehabilitation or return to work process following a physical injury. Delays in detecting the onset and treating mental distress can lead to a diverse range of cognitive and behavioural changes that may precipitate psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. The objective of this scoping review was to provide an overview of existing health questionnaires utilised by health care providers and affiliated researchers. It reviewed their effectiveness and suitability to detect mental distress endured by injured workers engaged in the return to work process. Methods A scoping review methodology was conducted using the Arksey and O'Malley framework which examined peer-reviewed articles published between 2000 and March 2020 comprising health questionnaires. Database searches included Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE and PsycINFO combining specific MeSH terms and key words. Results The full search identified 3168 articles. Following full screening a total of 164 articles reviewed the use of health questionnaires and specific criteria to determine their suitability. Most of the health questionnaires reviewed were used as screening measures for identifying both work and non-work-related psychological hazards. However, they were found to be limited in their application when considering all potential predictors of delayed return to work such as poor or stressful interactions with stakeholders, financial stress and the injured workers experience of the RTW process. Conclusion Earlier identification of mental distress using an optimal MHSQ followed by appropriate intervention will reduce the risk of psychological injury becoming cumulative on a physical workplace injury. Without such complications, early return to work can be achieved with significant cost saving to the economy.
© Bohatko-Naismith J, McCormack L, Weerasekara I, James D, Marley J, Work, 2022 Apr 10
Purpose The cost of mental ill health in the EU-28 nations has been estimated at approximately 4.1% of the total gross domestic products (GDP). Improved rates of return to sustainable employment among people who are sick-listed due to mental ill health would decrease spending on welfare benefits. The present cohort study provides statistical information that may be helpful in the design and prioritizing of efforts aimed at reducing the burden of sickness absence due to mental ill health among employees in the general working population of Denmark. Our primary aim was to estimate odds of being i) deceased or recipient of health related welfare benefits and ii) recipient non-health related welfare benefits, compared to being alive and self-reliant at 1, 3 and 5 years after first visit to a jobs and benefits office due to mental health related sickness absence, as a function of industrial sector and job group skill level at baseline. A secondary aim was to analyze these odds as a function of baseline age, gender, type of mental ill health, family type and employment status. Methods The study population consisted of 20-54 year-old persons on long-term sickness absence due to mental health problems in 21 Danish municipalities in 2010-2012 (N = 19,660). Odds ratios were estimated by use of multinomial logistic regression. The outcomes were ascertained through national registers. Results We did not find any statistically significant association between baseline industrial sector or job group skill level and welfare dependency at follow-up. In the secondary analyses, the estimated odds of health and non-health related welfare dependencies at follow-up tended to increase with unemployment, age, being single and being on sick leave due to self-reported anxiety or depression versus stress/burnout at baseline. Conclusions The present study does not support that industry and job group skill level predict welfare dependency after health related sickness absence, after adjustment for relevant covariates, in the general population of Denmark. It suggests, however, that the vulnerability lies in population groups characterized by unemployment, older age, being single and being on sick leave due to self-reported anxiety or depression versus stress/burnout.
© Hannerz H, Flyvholm MA, BMC public health, 2022 Apr 09; Vol. 22 (1), pp. 697
Purpose To evaluate the dynamics of the determinants of returning to work (RTW) in a population of patients treated for breast cancer (BC) in a real-world setting. Methods We conducted a retrospective study including 1278 BC patients working or looking for work at the time of diagnosis. We performed a focused principal component analysis to highlight the dimensions of a persistent decline in work capacity. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify correlates of non-RTW 1 and 2 years after treatment. Results One-third (31%, n = 389) of patients continued working during treatment. At study inclusion, 1100 patients had returned to work (89%). Three-quarters (n = 508, 75%) of the women reported a decline in work capacity 1 year after RTW and 22% (n = 148) presented a persistent decline in work capacity 2 years after the diagnosis. The odds ratio for non-RTW at 1 year was significantly higher for patients treated with a combination of chemotherapy and trastuzumab (OR = 1.72, 95% CI [1.07-2.76]), manual workers (OR = 3.99, 95% CI [1.54-10.81]), patients with lower incomes (OR = 2.33, 95% CI [1.29-4.19]), and patients experiencing fatigue (OR = 1.81, 95% CI [1.34-2.48]). The odds ratio for non-RTW at 2 years was higher for various occupational categories (OR = 3.49, 95% CI [1.89-6.74] for clerks, OR = 4.58, 95% CI [1.48-12.82] for self-employed workers, OR = 8.98, 95% CI [2.69-27.89] for manual workers), patients with comorbidities (OR = 2.80, 95% CI [1.61-4.93]), and patients experiencing anxiety symptoms (OR = 2.54, 95% CI [1.18-5.76]), while the impact of the type of treatment was no longer significantly associated with RTW. Conclusion The determinants of RTW change over time. Patients should be offered supportive interventions tailored to risk factors and time from diagnosis.
© Hequet D, Hamy AS, Girard N, Laas E, Coussy F, Rouzier R, Preau M, Delrieu L, Dumas A, Reyal F, Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2022 Apr 09
Purpose A high number of breast cancer survivors need to resume work. Therefore, interventions aimed at effective work-related transitions are important. Objective: A systematic review to determine what occupational therapy interventions are effective in work-related transitions of breast cancer survivors. Methods Multiple databases were searched for studies on work-related interventions within the scope of occupational therapy. Studies were included if 70% or more study participants were working age (> 18 years) breast cancer survivors, and work-related transition outcome measures were used. Results The search yielded 2 872 articles, of which 12 met the inclusion criteria. When classified according to the International Classification of Function Framework, quantitative sources focussed on Body Structures and Functions component and Multicomponents (consists of the Body Structures and Functions Component and the Activities Component) showed positive effects on improving the work-related transitions of BC survivors, however, the effects were statistically insignificant and the strength of evidence was moderate. Participants in a qualitative source reported that after they underwent a physical exercise programme their work performance improved. A Multicomponents intervention study showed statistically significant improvements on self-reported work-related outcomes of BC survivors. Low evidence was found for implementing a vocational rehabilitation case management programme targeting the Activities component, which showed positive effects in reducing the sick leave days of BC survivors, but the effects were statistically insignificant. No evidence was found for programmes focussed on restoring the Participation component. Conclusion The evidence included in this systematic review were insufficient to recommend occupational therapy interventions that are effective (showing statistically significant improvements) for work-related transitions of BC cancer survivors.
© Stehle L, Hoosain M, Niekerk LV, Work, 2022 Apr 13
Purpose Considering that breast cancer survivors (BCSs) have been dealing with unwanted job changes after diagnosis, this study aimed to investigate involuntary job changes (unwanted modifications in employment since diagnosis) and explore the association between job changes, involuntariness, and occupational development satisfaction in BCSs 5-6 years after diagnosis. Methods Data were drawn from the mixed-methods breast cancer patients' return to work (B-CARE) study. We surveyed 184 female BCSs who were working at the time of study enrollment during hospitalization (T1), 10 weeks after discharge (T2), 40 weeks after discharge (T3), and 5-6 years after diagnosis (T4) and used descriptive measures and stepwise linear regression models for data analysis. Results The mean age of BCSs was 57 years. A total of 105 participants reported 410 job changes, of which 16.1% were reportedly (rather) involuntary. The most commonly reported involuntary changes were increased workload (15.2%) and increased scope of work (15.2%). In the final model, significant predictors of satisfaction with occupational development 5-6 years after diagnosis were age, state of health ΔT2-T3, state of health ΔT3-T4, and involuntariness of job changes. Conclusions Although the number of job changes alone is not substantially associated with BCSs' satisfaction with occupational development, experiencing involuntary job changes is. Sociodemographic, disease-related, and work(place)-related factors may influence occupational satisfaction among BCSs. Implications for Cancer Survivors: The findings indicate the importance of strengthening one's ability to work as desired to prevent involuntary job changes and enable desired work participation in long-term support. The significance of workplace characteristics highlights the need for employers to encourage satisfying work participation.
© Hiltrop K, Heidkamp P, Breidenbach C, Kowalski C, Enders A, Pfaff H, Ansmann L, Geiser F, Ernstmann N, Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice, 2022 Apr; Vol. 16 (2), pp. 397-407