Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (J Occup Rehabil )

Publisher: Springer Verlag

Description

Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation publishes original research that advances the scientific understanding management treatment and prevention of work disability associated with occupational musculoskeletal problems. This timely publication consolidates a large body of original data to offer a truly multidisciplinary perspective on work disability. Peer-reviewed articles cover: clinical studies ñ original research on a broad array of clinical issues; review articles ñ critical reviews related to evaluation treatment and prevention; case studies ñ descriptions of a single case or small series of cases that describe innovative approaches to occupational musculoskeletal disorders; basic research ñ original research from the basic science fields relevant to work-related disability; book reviews up-to-date reviews of major books related to occupational rehabilitation.

  • Impact factor
    2.80
  • 5-year impact
    2.96
  • Cited half-life
    5.60
  • Immediacy index
    0.24
  • Eigenfactor
    0.00
  • Article influence
    0.70
  • Website
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation website
  • Other titles
    Journal of occupational rehabilitation (Online), Journal of occupational rehabilitation
  • ISSN
    1573-3688
  • OCLC
    44554065
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Author's pre-print on pre-print servers such as arXiv.org
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose The success of measures to reduce long-term sickness absence (LTSA) in public sector organisations is contingent on organisational context. This realist evaluation investigates how interventions interact with context to influence successful management of LTSA. Methods Multi-method case study in three Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland comprising realist literature review, semi-structured interviews (61 participants), Process-Mapping and feedback meetings (59 participants), observation of training, analysis of documents. Results Important activities included early intervention; workplace-based occupational rehabilitation; robust sickness absence policies with clear trigger points for action. Used appropriately, in a context of good interpersonal and interdepartmental communication and shared goals, these are able to increase the motivation of staff to return to work. Line managers are encouraged to take a proactive approach when senior managers provide support and accountability. Hindering factors: delayed intervention; inconsistent implementation of policy and procedure; lack of resources; organisational complexity; stakeholders misunderstanding each other's goals and motives. Conclusions Different mechanisms have the potential to encourage common motivations for earlier return from LTSA, such as employees feeling that they have the support of their line manager to return to work and having the confidence to do so. Line managers' proactively engage when they have confidence in the support of seniors and in their own ability to address LTSA. Fostering these motivations calls for a thoughtful, diagnostic process, taking into account the contextual factors (and whether they can be modified) and considering how a given intervention can be used to trigger the appropriate mechanisms.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The construct validity of functional capacity evaluations (FCE) in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) is unknown. The aim of this study was to analyse the validity of FCE in patients with WAD with cultural differences within a workers' compensation setting. Methods 314 participants (42 % females, mean age 36.7 years) with WAD (grade I and II) were referred for an interdisciplinary assessment that included FCE tests. Four FCE tests (hand grip strength, lifting waist to overhead, overhead working, and repetitive reaching) and a number of concurrent variables such as self-reported pain, capacity, disability, and psychological distress were measured. To test construct validity, 29 a priori formulated hypotheses were tested, 4 related to gender differences, 20 related associations with other constructs, 5 related to cultural differences. Results Men had significantly more hand grip strength (+17.5 kg) and lifted more weight (+3.7 kg): two out of four gender-related hypotheses were confirmed. Correlation between FCE and pain ranged from -0.39 to 0.31; FCE and self-reported capacity from -0.42 to 0.61; FCE and disability from -0.45 to 0.34; FCE and anxiety from -0.36 to 0.27; and FCE and depression from -0.41 to 0.34: 16 of 20 hypotheses regarding FCE and other constructs were confirmed. FCE test results between the cultural groups differed significantly (4 hypotheses confirmed) and effect size (ES) between correlations were small (1 hypothesis confirmed). In total 23 out of 29 hypotheses were confirmed (79 %). Conclusions The construct validity for testing functional capacity was confirmed for the majority of FCE tests in patients with WAD with cultural differences and in a workers' compensation setting. Additional validation studies in other settings are needed for verification.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To compare the educational levels of clients with brain injury, acquired during working age who received neurorehabilitation between 2002 and 2013 with two governmental reports examining educational levels of attainment in the general public. Methods Results from national skills numeracy and literacy assessments undertaken by clients with acquired brain injury (ABI) on admission to the centre between 2002 and 2013 were compared with the results from two national reports examining educational attainment in people in further education with and without long term disabilities, as part of an ongoing review/audit of the service. Results ABI resulted in lower levels of literacy and numeracy compared to the general public; women with ABI performed more poorly on the numeracy assessment compared to the literacy assessment; and clients with ABI had a disproportionately reduced level of literacy, resulting in a more even pattern of attainment on the numeracy and literacy assessments whereas the general public scored more highly on the literacy assessment. Conclusion ABI adversely affects both literacy and numeracy skills. It is important that the effect of ABI on numeracy and literacy is considered during vocational counselling and rehabilitation as a person's premorbid education level may be an overestimation of their abilities.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Determining factors critical for an intervention's success, specifically for whom and under what circumstances, is necessary if interventions are to be effectively targeted and efficiently implemented. This paper describes a process evaluation undertaken to assess the implementation of a novel self-management (SM) intervention developed for those with a chronic compensable work-related musculoskeletal disorder seeking to return to work. Methods The process evaluation, assessing the 'Self-Management for Return to Work' intervention, examined data from program leader evaluations, telephone interviews with stakeholders (injured worker participants, vocational rehabilitation consultant program leaders and compensation insurance regulators), post-intervention focus group session feedback, attendance lists and researcher notes. Results The evaluation identified several challenges and barriers associated with conducting research within the VR environment and with the characteristics of those targeted i.e., injured workers with a chronic compensable condition. These issues were primary contributing factors to the modifications to the randomised controlled trial methodology and the trial's premature cessation. Conclusions Despite the difficulties encountered, high stakeholder acceptability suggests that the concept and theory underlying the targeted SM intervention were not flawed, though there is room for further tailoring to both the program method and its timing. The results of this process evaluation provide a useful platform for others considering the implementation of interventions within the vocational rehabilitation context or with individuals with chronic, compensated injuries.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose When it is possible that the employee's work ability can be restored through treatment or rehabilitation, disability pension in Finland is granted for a fixed period. We examined which factors are associated with return to work (RTW) after such temporary disability pension. Methods The study included all Finnish residents whose temporary disability pension from the earnings-related pension system started in 2008 (N = 10,269). Competing risks regression analysis was applied to examine register-based determinants for RTW after temporary disability pension due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, other diseases, and injury over a 4-year follow-up period. Results The overall cumulative incidence of RTW was 25 %. RTW was more probable after temporary disability pension due to injury and musculoskeletal diseases and less probable after temporary disability pension due to mental disorders. Younger age and higher education increased RTW but differences between genders, private and public sector employees, and occupational classes were relatively small. The probability of RTW was higher among those who were employed before their temporary disability pension (subhazard ratio in multivariate analysis 2.41 (95 % CI 2.13-2.72) and among the 9 % who participated in vocational rehabilitation during their pension [SHR 2.10 (95 % CI 1.90-2.31)]. With some exceptions, the results were fairly similar for all diagnostic causes of temporary disability pension. Conclusion Return to work after temporary disability pension was relatively uncommon. Nevertheless, in all diagnostic groups RTW continued for the whole follow-up period. The low educated and those not employed before temporary disability pension need more support in their RTW. The strong association between vocational rehabilitation and RTW suggests that increasing rehabilitation among those with impaired work ability may promote RTW.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Considering the costs incurred by sickness absence and the implications for the workers' quality of life, a fast return to work (RTW) is important. Self-efficacy (SE) seems to be an important predictor of RTW for employees with mental health problems. The predictive value of return-to-work self-efficacy (RTW-SE) has not been examined in employees on long-term sickness absence due to any cause. The aim of this study is to investigate whether RTW-SE is a predictor of time to RTW in long-term sick-listed employees with all-cause sickness absence. Furthermore, the relative contribution of RTW-SE in predicting RTW will be examined compared to health-related, job-related and personal factors. Methods In a longitudinal study, sick-listed employees who were currently on sick leave for more than 4 weeks filled out a self-report questionnaire. Demographics, health-related, personal, and job-related factors, and RTW-SE were measured. Employees were followed for 2 years to determine the duration until full RTW. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with time to RTW. Results Data were collected from 493 sick-listed employees. RTW-SE was a significant predictor of RTW. In a multivariate model, low RTW-SE, the thought of not being able to work while having symptoms (illness behaviour) and having chronic medical conditions were predictors of a longer duration until RTW. Conclusion When guiding long-term sick-listed employees, it is important to focus on factors such as SE and illness behaviour, instead of just focusing on the symptoms of the sick-listed employee.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To determine how the economy affects psychosocial and socioeconomic treatment outcomes in a cohort of chronic disabling occupational musculoskeletal disorder (CDOMD) patients who completed a functional restoration program (FRP). Methods A cohort of 969 CDOMD patients with active workers' compensation claims completed an FRP (a medically-supervised, quantitatively-directed exercise progression program, with multi-modal disability management). A good economy (GE) group (n = 532) was released to work during a low unemployment period (2005-2007), and a poor economy (PE) group (n = 437) was released during a higher unemployment period (2008-2010). Patients were evaluated upon admission for demographic and psychosocial variables, and were reassessed at discharge. Socioeconomic outcomes, including work return and work retention 1 year post-discharge, were collected. Results Some significant differences in psychosocial self-report data were found, but most of the effect sizes were small, so caution should be made when interpreting the data. Compared to the PE group, the GE group reported more depressive symptoms and disability at admission, but demonstrated a larger decrease in depressive symptoms and disability and increase in self-reported quality of life at discharge. The PE group had lower rates of work return and retention 1-year after discharge, even after controlling for other factors such as length of disability and admission work status. Conclusions CDOMD patients who completed an FRP in a PE year were less likely to return to, or retain, work 1-year after discharge, demonstrating that a PE can be an additional barrier to post-discharge work outcomes. A difference in State unemployment rates of <3 % (7 vs. 5 %) had a disproportionate effect on patients' failure to return to (19 vs. 6 %) or retain (28 vs. 15 %) work.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose A systematic review was conducted to review the effectiveness of workplace accommodation (WA) regarding employment, work ability, and cost-benefit among disabled people. It also describes the evidence gained on the barriers and facilitators of WA process to sustain employment. Methods We reviewed systematically current scientific evidence about effectiveness of WA among disabled persons. The outcomes were employment, work ability, and cost-benefit. Qualitative studies of employment facilitators and barriers were also included. The population comprised people with physical disability, visual impairment, hearing impairment, cognitive disability, or mental disability, aged 18-68 years. CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Medic, OTseeker, PEDro, PsycInfo, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for peer-reviewed articles published in English from January 1990 to November 2012. Results Three quantitative (one randomized controlled, one concurrently controlled, and one cohort) and eight qualitative studies met the inclusion criteria. There was moderate evidence that specific types of WA (vocational counselling and guidance, education and self-advocacy, help of others, changes in work schedules, work organization, and special transportation) promote employment among physically disabled persons and reduce costs. There was low evidence that WA (liaison, education, work aids, and work techniques) coordinated by case managers increases return to work and is cost-effective when compared with the usual care of persons with physical and cognitive disabilities. The key facilitators and barriers of employment were self-advocacy, support of the employer and community, amount of training and counselling, and flexibility of work schedules and work organization. Conclusions More high-quality studies using validated measures of the work ability and functioning of disabled persons are needed. The identified barriers and facilitators found in the qualitative studies should be used to develop quantitative study designs.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Between 30 and 60 % of the societal cost of depression is due to losses related to decreased work productivity. To date, only a few studies have focused on union perspectives related to factors influencing the return-to-work of employees absent due to depression, despite evidence of the importance of these perspectives. The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of union perspectives on the factors surrounding the return-to-work of employees who were absent from work due to depression. Methods In this qualitative study, conducted in Canada (Québec), 23 individuals (union representatives and peer workers) from the three largest unions (mixed industries) in Quebec took part in one of three focus groups. Results Fourteen emerging themes (e.g., work environment, attitudes toward depression) were distributed over five categories of stakeholders involved in the return-to-work of employees on sick leave (i.e., employers and immediate supervisors, co-workers, employees on sick leave due to depression, general physicians, and unions). We observed four major cross-cutting themes that arose beyond these five categories: (1) organizational culture in which mental health issues and human aspects of work are central, (2) support and follow-up during the work absence and the return-to-work, (3) lack of resources to assist the employee in the return-to-work, and (4) stakeholders' prejudices and discomfort regarding depression. Conclusions Our results clarify the factors, from a union perspective, that may facilitate or hinder the return-to-work of employees absent from work due to depression.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Depressive symptoms have been identified as a significant risk factor for prolonged disability, however, little is known about the process by which depression impacts recovery following work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs). The primary objective of this study was to examine whether recovery expectancies mediate the relation between depression and return-to-work (RTW) status in individuals with WRMDs. Methods A sample of 109 patients with WRMDs were recruited from 1 of 6 primary care physiotherapy clinics. Participants completed measures of pain severity, depression and recovery expectancies. RTW status was assessed by telephone interview 1 year after the initial assessment. Results Consistent with previous research, more severe depressive symptoms and lower recovery expectancies were associated with a lower probability of RTW. Logistic regression analyses revealed that recovery expectancies completely mediated the relation between depression and RTW status at 1-year follow-up. Conclusion The results suggest that interventions specifically targeting recovery expectancies in individuals with WRMDs and depressive symptoms might improve RTW outcomes.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Previous research has shown that linguistic minorities have inferior workers' compensation experiences and outcomes; however little information exists on the structural barriers they face in relation to return-to-work (RTW). We sought to address this gap by describing barriers to RTW for linguistic minorities in Ontario using narratives from appeal decisions. Methods We examined decisions by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. We searched the full text of decisions rendered between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011 for the keyword "English". A total of 378 decisions were generated. After eliminating decisions that did not involve linguistic minorities we retained half (189) for analysis. We summarized the issues around language for each decision and identified broad themes across decisions. Results We found that linguistic minorities' limitations with regards to communication and power left them vulnerable to abuse, incomprehension and misperception by employers, care providers and adjudicators. In addition, specific RTW policies and practices failed to properly consider or mitigate their lack of English proficiency. These interpersonal and structural barriers negatively impacted linguistic minorities' eligibility to benefits and services and the appropriateness thereof, as well as their eventual return to work. Conclusions Our research highlights the need to move beyond efforts to improve the linguistic competence of compensation boards to target the structural factors that impede equal access at every stage of the process.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective This study examined data from the second National Longitudinal Transition Study to determine variables associated with post-high school competitive employment, and to develop a logistic regression model for predicting successful employment outcomes. Design A longitudinal survey design. Setting United States. Participants A nationally representative sample (N = 2,900) of special education students who exited high school in the 2002/2003 school year. Main Outcome Measure Any competitive employment during the 6-year study period. Results A number of predictors of competitive employment were confirmed, including high school employment experiences, parental expectations of post-high school employment, arrest record, and school type. The strongest predictors were high school employment experiences and parental expectations of a post-high school employment. Conclusions The current study supports finding of several prior studies and fail to support others, such as the importance of self-determination for adult success. The findings highlight two aspects of the transition process that are critical for success: employment training and work experiences in high school, and high parental expectations for their child's future.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Despite extensive evidence for the treatment effectiveness of interdisciplinary functional restoration (FR) for chronic disabling occupational musculoskeletal disorders (CDOMD), there is little documentation on the cost-effectiveness of early rehabilitation using FR. Methods A total of 1,119 CDOMD patients were classified according to duration of disability on FR entry, corresponding to early rehabilitation (ER: 4-8 months of disability, N = 373), intermediate duration (ID: 9-18 months, N = 373), and delayed rehabilitation (DR: >18 months, N = 373). Groups were matched on sex, age, ethnicity, and injured musculoskeletal region. One-year post-rehabilitation outcomes included return-to-work, work retention and healthcare utilization. Economic analyses included a cost-effectiveness analysis of the FR program, and estimation of the total cost-of-illness. Results At 1-year post-rehabilitation, all groups were comparable on return-to-work (overall 88 %), work retention (overall 80 %), and additional healthcare utilization (overall, 2.2 % of patients received re-operations/new surgeries, 2 visits to new healthcare provider). Savings of up to 64 % in medical costs, and up to 80 % in disability benefits and productivity losses was associated with the ER group. The cost of rehabilitation was also up to 56 % lower when administered early. Overall, ER resulted in estimated cost savings of up to 72 % (or almost $170,000 per claim). Conclusions Duration of disability does not negatively impact objective work or healthcare utilization outcomes following interdisciplinary FR. However, early rehabilitation is more likely to be a cost-effective solution compared to cases that progress >8 months and receiving FR as a treatment of "last resort".
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of Waddell signs (WS) on Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain (CNSLBP) undergoing fitness for work evaluation. If an effect is observed, the secondary objective is to report performance of patients without WS in a standardized 1 day FCE protocol. Methods Survey of patients with CNSLBP as their primary complaint, referred for fitness for work evaluation, age between 20 and 60 years. Main outcome measures were WS and performance during manual handling assessed with lifting from floor to waist, waist to crown, horizontal and one handed carry; grip strength with Jamar hand held Dynamometer; ambulation with stair climbing and six minute walking test; work postures with elevated work, forward bend standing, kneeling, and sitting. Results 145 male with a mean age of 44.5 years (±10.1), and 53 females with a mean age of 43.6 years (±11.0) were included. Mean days off work were in male 658 (±1,056) and in female 642 (±886). 33 % of all patients presented positive WS. FCE performance in male and female patients with positive and negative WS differed significantly in all comparisons except grip strength of the dominant hand and sitting in female. Performance of patients with negative WS indicated a mean physical capacity corresponding to lightmedium work in females and medium work in males for both age groups. Conclusions WS should be assessed for interpretation of FCE results. Despite long work absence, patients with CNSLBP with negative WS demonstrated a physical capacity corresponding to substantial physical work demands.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Many injuries experienced by soldiers can be attributed to the occupational loads they are required to carry. Purpose The aim of this study was to determine whether contemporary military load carriage is a source of injuries to Australian Regular Army soldiers and to profile these injuries. Methods The Australian Defence Force 'Occupational Health, Safety and Compensation Analysis and Reporting' database was searched to identify all reported injuries sustained during load carriage events. Key search terms were employed and narrative description fields were interrogated to increase data accuracy. Results A total of 1,954 injury records were extracted from the database. Of these, 404 injuries were attributed to load carriage. The majority of these load carriage injuries involved either the lower limb or back, with bones and joints accounting for the most frequently reported body structures to be injured. Field activities were the leading activities being performed at the time that load carriage injuries occurred, and muscular stress was identified as the mechanism of injury for over half of reported load carriage injuries. Conclusion This study suggests that load carriage is a substantial source of injury risk to Australian Army soldiers. Physical training may fail to adequately prepare soldiers for load carriage tasks during field training exercises.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purposes To assess predictors of presenteeism (reduced productivity at work) and activity impairment outside work in patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA). Methods Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to study predictors of presenteeism and activity impairment in 1,253 patients with SpA based on a 2.5 year follow-up questionnaire. The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire was used as main outcome. Age, gender, lifestyle factors, subgroups, disease duration, and different patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) were studied as possible predictors. The association between presenteeism and WPAI activity impairment outside work was assessed. Results Out of 1,253 patients, 757 reported being in work and of these 720 responded to the WPAI questionnaire. The mean (confidence interval, CI) reported presenteeism was 25 % (23-27 %) and mean activity impairment 33 % (31-35 %) (0-100 %, 0 = no reduction). Significant predictors of presenteeism and activity impairment at follow-up (controlled for gender, age, spondyloarthritis subgroups and presenteeism at baseline) were presenteeism at baseline, poor quality of life, worse disease activity, decreased physical function, lower self-efficacy pain and symptom, higher scores of anxiety, depression, smoking and low education level, and for activity impairment also female sex. There was a strong association between presenteeism and activity impairment outside work (OR 16.7; 95 % CI 11.6-24.3; p < 0.001). Conclusions Presenteeism and activity impairment were not only predicted by presenteeism at baseline, but also by several PROMs commonly used in clinical rheumatology practice. Impaired activity outside work could indicate problems also at work suggesting why both areas need to be addressed in the clinical situation.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 08/2014;