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  • 1.
    Andrén, Daniela
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Does Part-Time Sick Leave Help Individuals with Mental Disorders Recover Lost Work Capacity?2014In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 344-360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This paper aims to answer the question whether combining sick leave with some hours of work can help employees diagnosed with a mental disorder (MD) increase their probability of returning to work. Given the available data, this paper analyzes the impact of part-time sick leave (PTSL) on the probability of fully recovering lost work capacity for employees diagnosed with an MD.

    Methods: The effects of PTSL on the probability of fully recovering lost work capacity are estimated by a discrete choice one-factor model using data on a nationally representative sample extracted from the register of the National Agency of Social Insurance in Sweden and supplemented with information from questionnaires. All individuals in the sample were 20-64 years old and started a sickness spell of at least 15 days between 1 and 16 February 2001. We selected all employed individuals diagnosed with an MD, with a final sample of 629 individuals.

    Results: The results show that PTSL is associated with a low likelihood of full recovery, yet the timing of the assignment is important. PTSL's effect is relatively low (0.015) when it is assigned in the beginning of the spell but relatively high (0.387), and statistically significant, when assigned after 60 days of full-time sick leave (FTSL). This suggests efficiency improvements from assigning employees with an MD diagnosis, when possible, to PTSL.

    Conclusions: The employment gains will be enhanced if employees with an MD diagnosis are encouraged to return to work part-time after 60 days or more of FTSL.

  • 2.
    Andrén, Daniela
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Svensson, Mikael
    Department of Economics and Statistics, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Part-time sick leave as a treatment method for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders2012In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 418-426Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: There is increasing evidence that staying active is an important part of a recovery process for individuals on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It has been suggested that using part-time sickleave rather than full-time sick leave will enhance the possibility of full recovery to the workforce, and several countries actively favor this policy. The aim of this paper is to examine if it is beneficial for individuals on sick leave due to MSDs to be on part-time sick leave compared to full-time sick leave.

    Methods: A sample of 1,170 employees from the RFV-LS (register) database of the Social Insurance Agency of Sweden is used. The effect of being on part-time sick leave compared to full-time sick leave is estimated for the probability of returning to work with full recovery of lost work capacity. A two-stage recursive bivariate probit model is used to deal with the endogeneity problem.

    Results: The results indicate that employees assigned to part-time sick leave do recover to full work capacity with a higher probability than those assigned to full-time sick leave. The average treatment effect of parttime sick leave is 25 percentage points.

    Conclusions: Considering that part-time sick leave may also be less expensive than assigning individuals to full-time sick leave, this would imply efficiency improvements from assigning individuals, when possible, to part-time sick leave.

  • 3.
    Bergbom, Sofia
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Boersma, Katja
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    When matching fails: understanding the process of matching pain-disability treatment to risk profile2015In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 518-526Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: A previous study (Bergbom et al. in J Occup Rehabil, 2013) showed that matching people at risk for pain-related disability to an intervention aimed at targeting their psychological problem profile did not, as hypothesized, improve the effect of the intervention. Methodological issues were suggested to explain the lack of differential effect. It was questioned whether the profiles used to allocate people to treatment were adequate. The aim of this study was to investigate if the risk profiles used to determine matching were sufficiently stable and valid by comparing the original profiles with profiles constructed using other methods.

    Methods: Ninety-five people suffering musculoskeletal problems were screened, profiled, and matched to workplace based early interventions according to profiles. We studied stability and validity of their psychological risk profiles by investigating their concordance at different time points. People were originally assigned to profiles at inclusion, using a brief screening questionnaire. Then, they were profiled just before treatment start, using the same items. Finally, they were profiled again at treatment start, using extensive questionnaires. Concordance among the three sets of profiles was investigated.

    Results: Profiles at inclusion were unstable until treatment start. People moved from profiles with more severe elevations in psychological variables, to a profile with moderate elevations. Concordance between the two means of profiling at treatment start was better; the brief screening and the extensive questionnaires assigned people to similar profiles.

    Conclusions: Risk level may be determined with brief instruments at an early stage of problem development. However, profiles and targets for interventions should be determined immediately prior to treatment start, preferably using full questionnaires.

  • 4.
    Bergbom, Sofia
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Flink, Ida K.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Boersma, Katja
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Early psychologically informed interventions for workers at risk for pain-related disability: does matching treatment to profile improve outcome?2014In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 24, no 3, p. 446-457Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This randomized controlled trial had two main aims. The first aim was to investigate the effect of early preventive, psychologically informed, interventions for pain-related disability. The second aim was explore whether people who are matched to an intervention specifically targeting their psychological risk profile had better outcomes than people who were not matched to interventions.

    Methods: A total of 105 participants were recruited from their workplace, screened for psychological risk factors and classified as being at risk for long-term pain-related disability. They were subgrouped into one of three groups based on their psychological profile. Three behaviorally oriented psychological interventions were developed to target each of the three risk profiles. Half of the participants were assigned a matched intervention developed to target their specific profile, and half were assigned an unmatched intervention. After treatment, repeated measure ANOVAs and χ2 tests were used to determine if treatments had an effect on primary and secondary outcomes including perceived disability, sick leave, fear and avoidance, pain catastrophizing and distress, and if matched participants had better outcomes than did unmatched.

    Results: Treatments had effects on all outcome variables (effect sizes d ranging between 0.23 and 0.66), but matched participants did not have better outcomes than unmatched.

    Conclusions: Early, preventive interventions have an impact on a number of outcome variables but it is difficult to realize a matching procedure. More in-depth research of the process of matching is needed.

  • 5.
    Jansson, Markus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
    Cognitive-behavioral group therapy as an early intervention for insomnia: a randomized controlled trial2005In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 177-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A randomized controlled design was used with a 1-yr follow-up. The purpose was to compare the effects of two early interventions, a cognitive-behavioral group intervention and a self-help information package, in patients with insomnia. In sum, 165 individuals seeking care for insomnia of 3–12 months duration were randomized to either a group receiving a CBT intervention or a group receiving a self-help information package. At the 1-yr follow-up, 136 participants had completed the entire study. At the 1-yr follow-up, the CBT group intervention was, compared with the control group, effective in producing reductions in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep, negative daytime symptoms, as well as vital improvements in sleep (i.e. sleep onset latency, time awake after sleep onset, total sleep time, sleep quality, and sleep efficiency). In comparison with the control group, significantly more participants in the CBT group met criteria at the 1-yr follow-up for clinically meaningful improvements in sleep onset latency, time awake after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency. A CBT group intervention may well be a viable early intervention for patients with insomnia in a wide range of health services.

  • 6.
    Linton, Steven J
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Boersma, Katja
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Traczyk, Michal
    Department of Law, Psychology, and Social Work, Center for Health and Medical Psychology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; Landstingshälsan, Occupational Health Services, Örebro, Sweden.
    Shaw, William
    Center for Disability Research, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Boston MA, USA.
    Nicholas, Michael
    Pain Management Research Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
    Early Workplace Communication and Problem Solving to Prevent Back Disability: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial Among High-Risk Workers and Their Supervisors2016In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 150-159Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: There is a clear need for interventions that successfully prevent the development of disability due to back pain. We hypothesized that an intervention aimed at both the worker and the workplace could be effective. Hence, we tested the effects of a new early intervention, based on the misdirected problem solving model, aimed at both workers at risk of long-term impairments and their workplace.

    Methods: Supervisors of volunteers with back pain, no red flags, and a high score on a screen (Örebro Musculoskeletal Screening Questionnaire) were randomized to either an evidence based treatment as usual (TAU) or to a worker and workplace package (WWP). The WWP intervention included communication and problem solving skills for the patient and their immediate supervisor. The key outcome variables of work absence due to pain, health-care utilization, perceived health, and pain intensity were collected before, after and at a 6 month follow up.

    Results: The WWP showed significantly larger improvements relative to the TAU for work absence due to pain, perceived health, and health-care utilization. Both groups improved on pain ratings but there was no significant difference between the groups. The WWP not only had significantly fewer participants utilizing health care and work absence due to pain, but the number of health care visits and days absent were also significantly lower than the TAU.

    Conclusions: The WWP with problem solving and communication skills resulted in fewer days off work, fewer health care visits and better perceived health. This supports the misdirected problem solving model and indicates that screening combined with an active intervention to enhance skills is quite successful and likely cost-effective. Future research should replicate and extend these findings with health-economic analyses.

  • 7.
    Matérne, Marie
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. University Health Care Research Center, Faculty of Medicine and Health.
    Strandberg, Thomas
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Lundqvist, Lars-Olov
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. University Health Care Research Center.
    Risk Markers for Not Returning to Work Among Patients with Acquired Brain Injury: A Population-Based Register Study2019In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 728-739Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate person-related, injury-related, activity-related and rehabilitation-related risk markers for not return to work among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI).

    Methods: Retrospective data from the Quality register, WebRehab Sweden, on an ABI cohort of 2008 patients, was divided into two groups: those who had returned to work (n = 690) and those who had not returned to work (n = 1318) within a year of the injury.

    Results: Risk ratio analyses showed that several factors were risk markers for not returning to work: personal factors, including being a woman, being born outside of Sweden, having a low education level, and not having children in the household; injury-related factors, including long hospital stay (over 2 months), aphasia, low motor function, low cognitive function, high pain/discomfort, and high anxiety/depression; activity-related factors, including low function in self-care, inability to perform usual activities, and not having a driver's license; and rehabilitation-related factors, including being dissatisfied with the rehabilitation process and the attentiveness of the staff having limited influence over the rehabilitation plan, or not having a rehabilitation plan at all. Conclusion Several factors in different aspects of life were risk markers for not returning to work among patients with ABI. This suggests that rehabilitation and interventions need to address not only direct injury-related issues, but also person-related, activity-related, and rehabilitation-related factors in order to increase the patient's opportunities to return to work.

  • 8.
    Nicholas, M. K.
    et al.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Costa, D. S. J.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. Center for Health And Medical Psychology.
    Main, C. J.
    Arthritis Care UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Keele, North Staffordshire, UK.
    Shaw, W. S.
    University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
    Pearce, G.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Gleeson, M.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Pinto, R. Z.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Blyth, F. M.
    School of Public Health, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    McAuley, J. H.
    Neuroscience Research Australia and School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    Smeets, R. J. E. M.
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Caphri, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; CIR Revalidatie, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
    McGarity, A.
    Injury Management Health & Safety Branch, NSW Fire and Safety, Sydney, Australia.
    Correction to: Implementation of Early Intervention Protocol in Australia for 'High Risk' Injured Workers is Associated with Fewer Lost Work Days Over 2 Years Than Usual (Stepped) Care2019In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 671-671Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Nicholas, M. K.
    et al.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Costa, D. S. J.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Main, C. J.
    Arthritis Care UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Keele, North Staffordshire, UK.
    Shaw, W. S.
    University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
    Pearce, G.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Gleeson, M.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Pinto, R. Z.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Blyth, F. M.
    School of Public Health, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    McCauley, J. H.
    Neuroscience Research Australia and School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    Smeets, R. J. E. M.
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Caphri, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; CIR Revalidatie, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
    McGarity, A.
    Injury Management Health & Safety Branch, NSW Fire and Safety, Sydney, Australia.
    Implementation of Early Intervention Protocol in Australia for 'High Risk' Injured Workers is Associated with Fewer Lost Work Days Over 2 Years Than Usual (Stepped) Care2020In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 93-104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To evaluate whether a protocol for early intervention addressing the psychosocial risk factors for delayed return to work in workers with soft tissue injuries would achieve better long-term outcomes than usual (stepped) care.

    Methods: The study used a controlled, non-randomised prospective design to compare two case management approaches. For the intervention condition, workers screened within 1-3 weeks of injury as being at high risk of delayed returned to work by the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire-short version (ÖMPSQ-SF) were offered psychological assessment and a comprehensive protocol to address the identified obstacles for return to work. Similarly identified injured workers in the control condition were managed under usual (stepped) care arrangements.

    Results: At 2-year follow-up, the mean lost work days for the Intervention group was less than half that of the usual care group, their claim costs were 30% lower, as was the growth trajectory of their costs after 11 months.

    Conclusions: The findings supported the hypothesis that brief psychological risk factor screening, combined with a protocol for active collaboration between key stakeholders to address identified psychological and workplace factors for delayed return to work, can achieve better return on investment than usual (stepped) care.

  • 10.
    Nicholas, M. K.
    et al.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Costa, D. S. J.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Main, C. J.
    Arthritis Care UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, North Staffordshire, UK.
    Shaw, W. S.
    University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.
    Pearce, R.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Gleeson, M.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Pinto, R. Z.
    Sydney Medical School - Northern, University of Sydney & Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.
    Blyth, F. M.
    School of Public Health, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    McCauley, J. H.
    Neuroscience Research Australia and School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    Maher, C. G.
    The George Institute, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
    Smeets, R. J. E. M.
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Caphri, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Caphri, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
    McGarity, A.
    Injury Management, Health & Safety Branch, NSW Fire and Safety, Sydney, Australia.
    Predicting Return to Work in a Heterogeneous Sample of Recently Injured Workers Using the Brief ÖMPSQ-SF2019In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 295-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: (1) to examine the ability of the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire-short version (ÖMPSQ-SF) to predict time to return to pre-injury work duties (PID) following a work-related soft tissue injury (regardless of body location); and (2) to examine the appropriateness of 50/100 as a suitable cut-off score for case identification.

    Methods: Injured workers (IW) from six public hospitals in Sydney, Australia, who had taken medically-sanctioned time off work due to their injury, were recruited by insurance case managers within 5-15 days of their injury. Eligible participants (N = 213 in total) were administered the ÖMPSQ-SF over the telephone by the case manager. For objective (1) Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to predict days to return to PID using the ÖMPSQ-SF. For objective (2) receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine the ÖMPSQ-SF total score that optimises sensitivity and specificity in detecting whether or not participants had returned to PID within 2-7 weeks.

    Results: The total ÖMPSQ-SF score significantly predicted number of days to return to PID, such that for every 1-point increase in the total ÖMPSQ-SF score the predicted chance of returning to work reduced by 4% (i.e., hazard ratio = 0.96), p < 0.001. Sensitivity and specificity for the ROC analysis comparing ÖMPSQ-SF total score to return to PID within 2-7 weeks suggested 48 as the optimal cut off (sensitivity = 0.65, specificity = 0.79).

    Conclusion: The results provide strong support for the use of the ÖMPSQ-SF in an applied setting for identifying those IW likely to have delayed RTW when administered within 15 days of the injury. While a score of 48/100 was the optimal cut point for sensitivity and specificity, pragmatically, 50/100 should be acceptable as a cut-off in future studies of this type.

  • 11.
    Nilsing Strid, Emma
    et al.
    Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Söderberg, Elsy
    Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Berterö, Carina
    Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Öberg, Birgitta
    Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Primary Healthcare Professionals' Experiences of the Sick Leave Process: A Focus Group Study in Sweden2013In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 450-461Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose The aim of this study was to explore primary healthcare (PHC) professionals' experiences of the sick leave process. Methods This is an explorative study using data from four semi-structured focus group discussions with a purposeful sample of PHC professionals in A-stergotland County, Sweden. Content analysis with an inductive approach was used in the analysis. Results Four key themes emerged from the analysis; priority to the sick leave process, handling sickness certifications, collaboration within PHC and with other stakeholders, and work ability assessments. Patients' need for sick leave was handled from each professional group's perspective. Collaboration was considered important, but difficult to achieve and all the competencies available at the PHC centre were not used for work ability assessments. There was insufficient knowledge of patients' work demands and contact with an employer was rare, and the strained relationship with the social insurance officers affected the collaboration. Conclusions This study highlights the challenges physicians and other PHC professionals face when handling the need for sick leave, especially when encountering patients with symptom-based diagnoses, and the influence of non-medical factors. Hindrances to good practice were increased demands, collaboration, and role responsibility. The challenges in the sick leave process concerned both content and consequences related to poor collaboration within PHC and with representatives from various organizations, primarily employers and social insurance officers. Further research on how to develop a professional approach for handling the sick leave process is needed.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Primary healthcare professionals’ experiences of the sick leave process: A focus group study in Sweden
  • 12. Reme, Silje Endresen
    et al.
    Shaw, William S.
    Steenstra, Ivan A.
    Woiszwillo, Mary Jane
    Pransky, Glenn
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Distressed, immobilized, or lacking employer support?: a sub-classification of acute work-related low back pain2012In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 541-552Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: One possibility for reducing the disabling effects of low back pain (LBP) is to identify subgroups of patients who might benefit from different disability prevention strategies. The aim of this study was to test the ability to discern meaningful patient clusters for early intervention based on self-reported concerns and expectations at the time of an initial medical evaluation.

    Methods: Workers seeking an initial evaluation for acute, work-related LBP (N = 496; 58 % male) completed self-report measures comprising of 11 possible risk factors for chronicity of pain and disability. Outcomes of pain, function, and return-to-work were assessed at 3-month follow-up. A K-means cluster analysis was used to derive patient subgroups based on risk factor patterns, and then these subgroups were compared with respect to 3-month outcomes.

    Results: Eight of the 11 measures showed significant associations with functional recovery and return-to-work, and these were entered into the cluster analysis. A 4-cluster solution met criteria for cluster separation and interpretability, and the four clusters were labeled: (a) minimal risk (29 %), (b) workplace concerns (26 %); (c) activity limitations (27 %); and (d) emotional distress (19 %). Functional outcomes were best in the minimal risk group, poorest in the emotional distress group, and intermediate in the other two groups. A global severity index at baseline also showed highest overall risk in the emotional distressed group.

    Conclusions: Patterns of early disability risk factors from this study suggest patients have differential needs with respect to overcoming emotional distress, resuming normal activity, and obtaining workplace support. Classifying patients in this manner may improve the cost-benefit of early intervention strategies to prevent long-term sickness absence and disability due to LBP.

  • 13.
    Shaw, William S.
    et al.
    Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton MA, USA; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester MA, USA.
    Main, Chris J.
    Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Research Institute for Primary Care Sciences and Health Sciences, Keele University, Keele, UK.
    Pransky, Glenn
    Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton MA, USA; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester MA, USA.
    Nicholas, Michael K.
    Pain Management Research Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
    Anema, Johannes R.
    EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Employer Policies and Practices to Manage and Prevent Disability: Foreword to the Special Issue2016In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 394-398Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Employer policies and practices have been shown to impact workplace disability, but research in this area has waned in recent years despite an aging workforce, a growing prevalence of chronic health conditions, and a larger proportion of working-age adults on permanent work disability in many jurisdictions. The purpose of this article is to describe the background rationale and methodology for an invited conference designed to improve research of employer strategies to curtail work disability.

    Methods: A multidisciplinary team of 26 international researchers with published research in employer-based disability management or related fields were invited to attend a 3-day conference in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA. The overall goal was to review the status of current research of workplace disability management and prevention, examine its relevance for employer decision-making, compare conceptual frameworks or theoretical perspectives, and recommend future research directions. Working groups were organized and draft manuscripts were prepared in advance. Conference activities included working group presentations and critiques, discussions with a panel of industry consultants and advisors, group interaction and debate, generation of final recommendations, and manuscript revision.

    Results/Conclusion: Six principal domains were established with respect to future research: (a) further elucidation of the key workplace factors that buffer the disabling effects of injury and illness; (b) more innovative and feasible options for workplace intervention; (c) measurement of workplace-relevant disability outcomes; (d) a stronger theoretical framework for understanding the factors behind employer uptake and implementation; (e) a focus on special clinical populations and occupations where disability risk is most troubling; and (f) better representation of workers and employers that reflect the diverse and changing nature of work. Final comments and recommendations of the working groups are presented in the following six articles in this special issue of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. Conference attendees recommended changes in methodology, collaboration strategies, and theoretical perspectives to improve the practical and scientific impact of future research of employer practices.

  • 14. Shaw, William S.
    et al.
    van der Windt, Danielle A.
    Main, Chris J.
    Loisel, Patrick
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Early patient screening and intervention to address individual-level occupational factors ("blue flags") in back disability2009In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 64-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To develop a consensus plan for research and practice to encourage routine clinician screening of occupational factors associated with long-term back disability. METHODS: A 3-day conference workshop including 21 leading researchers and clinicians (the "Decade of the Flags Working Group") was held to review the scientific evidence concerning clinical, occupational, and policy factors in back disability and the development of feasible assessment and intervention strategies. RESULTS: The Working Group identified seven workplace variables to include in early screening by clinicians: physical job demands, ability to modify work, job stress, workplace social support or dysfunction, job satisfaction, expectation for resuming work, and fear of re-injury. Five evaluation criteria for screening methods were established: reliability, predictive performance, feasibility, acceptability, and congruence with plausible interventions. An optimal screening method might include a stepped combination of questionnaire, interview, and worksite visit. Future research directions include improving available assessment methods, adopting simpler and more uniform conceptual frameworks, and tying screening results to plausible interventions. DISCUSSION:There is a clear indication that occupational factors influence back disability, but to expand clinician practices in this area will require that patient screening methods show greater conceptual clarity, feasibility, and linkages to viable options for intervention.

  • 15.
    Young, Amanda E.
    et al.
    Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, USA.
    Viikari-Juntura, Eira
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
    Boot, Cécile R L
    EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Chan, Chetwyn
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute, Hong Kong, China.
    de Porras, David Gimeno Ruiz
    The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston TX, USA.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Workplace Outcomes in Work-Disability Prevention Research: A Review with Recommendations for Future Research2016In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 434-447Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Outcome assessment is a central issue in work disability prevention research. The goal of this paper was to (1) ascertain the most salient workplace outcomes; (2) evaluate the congruence between business and science perspectives; (3) illustrate new perspectives on assessing longitudinal outcomes; and (4) provide recommendations for advancing outcome evaluation in this area of research.

    Methods: The authors participated in a year-long collaboration that culminated in a sponsored 3-day conference, "Improving Research of Employer Practices to Prevent Disability", held October 14-16, 2015, in Hopkinton, MA, USA. The collaboration included a topical review of the literature, group conference calls to identify key areas and challenges, drafting of initial documents, review of industry publications, and a conference presentation that included feedback from peer researchers and a question/answer session with a special panel of knowledge experts with direct employer experience.

    Results: Numerous workplace work-disability prevention outcome measures were identified. Analysis indicated that their applicability varied depending on the type of work disability the worker was experiencing. For those who were working, but with health-related work limitations (Type 1), predominant outcomes were measures of productivity, presenteeism, and work-related limitations. For those who were off work due to a health condition (Type 2), predominant outcomes were measures of time off work, supervisor/employee interactions, and return-to-work (RTW) preparation. For those who had returned to work (Type 3), predominant outcomes were measures of presenteeism, time until RTW, percentage of work resumption, employment characteristics, stigma, work engagement, co-worker interactions, and sustained or durable RTW. For those who had withdrawn from the labor force (Type 4), predominant outcomes were cost and vocational status.

    Discussion: Currently available measures provide a good basis to use more consistent outcomes in disability prevention in the future. The research area would also benefit from more involvement of employers as stakeholders, and multilevel conceptualizations of disability outcomes.

  • 16.
    Young, Amanda E.
    et al.
    Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, USA.
    Viikari-Juntura, Eira
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
    Boot, Cécile R. L.
    EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Chan, Chetwyn
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute, Hong Kong, China.
    Gimeno Ruiz de Porras, David
    The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, USA.
    Linton, Steven J.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Erratum to: Workplace Outcomes in Work-Disability Prevention Research: A Review with Recommendations for Future Research (J Occup Rehabil, (2016), 26, (434–447), 10.1007/s10926-016-9675-9)2017In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 306-306Article in journal (Refereed)
1 - 16 of 16
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