Ellen MacEachen

Ellen MacEachen
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · School of Public Health Sciences

Ph.D.

About

113
Publications
32,828
Reads
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2,736
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2005 - May 2014
Institute for Work and Health
Position
  • Senior Researcher
January 2001 - present
University of Toronto

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Injured workers can experience adverse effects from work injury and claims processes.Workers may be treated unfairly by employers, compensation boards, and return-to-work coordinators; however,how workers respond to these challenges is unknown. This article describes how injured precarious workersresponded behaviourally and emotionally to p...
Article
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Purpose: The objective of this study was to explore how workers' compensation policies related to healthcare provision for workers with musculoskeletal injuries can affect the delivery and trajectories of care for injured workers. The principal research question was: What are the different ways in which workers' compensation (WC) policies inform a...
Article
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Introduction: As they deliver food, packages, and people across cities, digital platform drivers (gig workers) are in a key position to become infected with COVID-19 and transmit it to many others. The aim of this study is to identify perceived COVID-19 exposure and job risks faced by workers and document the measures in place to protect their hea...
Article
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Purpose: This article focuses on the risk that work disability policies lock people into work disability rather than promote durable health and return to work. We outline the concept of a work disability trap as a heuristic device to explore this policy paradox inherent in the design of most social insurance systems. Materials and methods: This...
Article
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Self-employment (SE) is a growing precarious work arrangement internationally. In the current digital age, SE appears in configurations and contours that differ from the labor market of 50 years ago and is part of a ‘paradigm shift’ from manufacturing/managerial capitalism to entrepreneurial capitalism. Our purpose in this paper is to reflect on ho...
Article
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Qualitative research is an increasingly popular research approach for tackling the evolving complexity of social issues. With this rise in use, methods of qualitative data collection are becoming highly diverse, moving away from conventional approaches and welcoming more innovative and creative methods of data collection in a quest to produce criti...
Article
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Under the Canadian labour laws that govern workplace safety, wage, and other work conditions, ‘family’ workers are not covered by the law under special rules for agriculture. Among other legal exclusions, the family farm exclusion contributes to a dearth of basic work, health, and safety standards in the sector, despite the commercialization and in...
Article
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Purpose We conducted a systematic review to understand the impact that return-to-work coordinators (RTWCs) have on return to work (RTW) outcomes for sick/injured workers. Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and ABI Inform were searched from January 1, 2000 to September 16, 2020. Of 2,927 retrieved and screened citations, 14 q...
Article
Background: Self-employment (SE) is a growing precarious and non-standard work arrangement internationally. Economically advanced countries that favor digital labor markets may be promoting the growth of a demographic of self-employed (SE'd) workers who are exposed to particular occupational diseases, sickness, and injury. However, little is known...
Article
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This study aims to explore the motives and factors that drive entrepreneurship in Syrian refugee women in Canada and the differential contexts that may support or hinder these activities. Using a qualitative research design, a total of 29 in-depth interviews were conducted with Syrian refugee women, who had been in Canada for a minimum of 1 year an...
Article
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The interplay between health, entrepreneurship and small and emerging businesses is a research field receiving growing interest. Studies point to both health-related risks and opportunities, which have implications for the social and economic lives of entrepreneurs and employees in small and new firms. Research has been carried out in different dis...
Article
Background Following a work-related permanent impairment, injured workers commonly face barriers to safe and successful return to work (RTW). Examining workers' experiences with the workers' compensation (WC) system could highlight opportunities to improve RTW outcomes. Objectives included summarizing workers': (1) appraisal of several WC-based RTW...
Article
Background Roughly 10% of occupational injuries result in permanent impairment. After initial return to work (RTW), many workers with permanent impairments face RTW interruption due to reinjury, unstable health, disability, and layoff. This study used open-ended survey data to: (1) explore workplace factors identified by workers as important levers...
Article
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Using virtual internationalization as a key concept, this article adds to the body of experiencebased knowledge on how to build partnerships and develop courses within higher education. The purpose of this article is to disseminate knowledge about the collaborative process that took place when Swedish and Canadian universities created an internatio...
Article
Background This article reports the results of a rapid scoping review of the literature on COVID‐19 transmission risk to workers in essential sectors such as retail, health care, manufacturing, and agriculture, and more particularly the experiences of workers in precarious employment and social situations. Methods Following scoping review methods,...
Article
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The policies and practices of workers’ compensation have barely kept pace with the changing worker and employer needs created by the growth of precarious forms of employment. This study focused on how well workers’ compensation and RTW policies in Ontario fit the needs of precariously employed workers. A critical discourse analysis guided our study...
Article
The question of how workers’ compensation systems should account for language barriers is of increasing importance given Canada’s growing linguistic diversity. This study is the first to empirically examine, based on interviews with injured workers and key informants, return-to-work policies and practices through the lens of language barriers. By c...
Article
The question of how workers’ compensation systems should account for language barriers is of increasing importance given Canada’s growing linguistic diversity. This study is the first to empirically examine, based on interviews with injured workers and key informants, return-to-work policies and practices through the lens of language barriers. By c...
Article
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Although social constructionism (SC) and Foucauldian discourse analysis (FDA) are well established constructionist analytical methods, this article propose that Foucauldian discourse analysis is more useful for qualitative data analysis as it examines social legitimacy. While the SC is able to illuminate how the “meaning” of our social action is co...
Article
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Purpose This scoping review was completed to explore the role and impact of having a return-to-work (RTW) coordinator when dealing with individuals with common mental ill-health conditions. Methods Peer reviewed articles published in English between 2000 and 2018 were considered. Our research team reviewed all articles to determine if an analytic f...
Article
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Purpose Cancer survivors have strong personal desires to resume work to feel productive and meet financial needs. However, they may be faced with physical and psychological challenges. This research addresses the question: “What are the needs of cancer survivors when returning to or staying in the workforce?” by (i) examining cancer survivors’ pers...
Article
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Many large North American cities have jurisdiction over licensing rules that shape the employment and health conditions of ride-hail and taxi drivers. Yet, there is a lack of research on the role of licensing agencies relating to the occupational health and safety conditions of taxi work. Based on qualitative research, the paper explores municipal...
Article
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Purpose Work injury and return to work processes can have adverse effects on injured workers and their families. Family members may experience increased workloads, role reversals, dissolution of marriages or changes in relationships with children, as well as financial strain from loss of income. How these associations interact when the injured work...
Article
This article examines the employment integration experiences of Syrian refugee women arriving to Canada through four common refugee streams: government-assisted, private sponsorship, Blended Visa office referral, and as refugee claimants. Drawing on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Syrian refugee women and key informants, we show how diffe...
Article
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Workers actively negotiate contradictions between discourses of flexibility and entrepreneurialism and actually existing conditions of risk and precarity endemic to online self‐employed work. This article examines how ride‐hail drivers counter‐branded UberPool—a carpool ride‐hail service—as ‘UberPoo’. While marketed as a solution to congestion, Ube...
Article
This article examines refugee women’s experience with settlement agencies and their employment outcomes in Canada. Based on qualitative data, we found that employment was not a priority to settlement agencies with many counselors referring the women to low-skilled, low-waged positions with companies with whom they had pre-existing ties. Meanwhile,...
Article
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Purpose: Sickness insurance and workers’ compensation systems decide on peoples’ eligibility for benefits, and are commonly based on medical certificates and assessments of work ability. Systems differ in the extent to which they preserve clients’ dignity and right to fair assessments. In this article, we define a new concept for studying interacti...
Article
Introduction: For-hire driving work, such as taxi driving, is characterized by long hours of sedentary behaviour, passenger assault, lack of benefits or support, and isolating working conditions that jeopardize good health. The for-hire driving industry has recently expanded to include a new group of ride-share drivers from digital platforms such a...
Article
Background First‐line health care providers are the primary access point for workers' benefits. However, little is known about their impact on quality of care and return‐to‐work. Our objective was to critically compare literature on the practices of first‐line providers for workers with musculoskeletal injuries in Ontario and Quebec (Canada), Washi...
Article
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There is increasing demand for comprehensive community healthcare that integrates community mental health and primary care services. The Canadian Mental Health Association-Durham Branch provides an example of how the Integrated Health Hub (IHH) Model evolved organically to meet this need. The Framework Method was used to analyze interviews and focu...
Article
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The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake in the co-author name. The co-author name should be Stephanie Skopyk instead it was published incorrectly as Stephanie Skoypk. The original article has been corrected. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Article
This scoping review identified what kinds of work disability policy issues are critiqued in articles published in countries with cause-based versus comprehensive welfare systems. Drawing on a review of work disability policy research, we identified 74 English-language, peer-reviewed articles that focused on program adequacy and design. Articles on...
Article
Physicians can struggle in managing return to work (RTW) consultations and facilitating a patient’s return to employment after the injury. As part of an exploration into the role of physicians in RTW, we examined resources, policies and guidelines developed for physicians. We identified resources developed by workers’ compensation boards, governmen...
Book
The rising cost of illness and disability benefits is one of today’s biggest social and labor market challenges. The promise of activation-oriented work disability policies was labor-market engagement for all people, regardless of illness, injury or impairment. However, the reality has been more complex. This edited volume addresses social, politic...
Article
International research has generated strong evidence that healthcare providers (HCPs) play a key role in the return to work (RTW) process. However, pressure on consultation time, administrative challenges and limited knowledge about a patient's workplace can thwart meaningful engagement. Aim: Our study sought to understand how HCPs interact with wo...
Conference Paper
Introduction Uber ride-sharing is an important sharing economy challenge. The taxi industry is notoriously dangerous; even regulated and licensed professional drivers face a homicide rate higher than police officers and first responders. Uber drivers lack special licenses, organised workplaces and other usual safety structures. However, Uber touts...
Conference Paper
This paper presents results of a Canadian study looking at workers’ compensation regulatory frameworks, designed to optimise return to work outcomes, as applied to precariously employed workers. Comparing frameworks in the two Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario we find that in both provinces the quality and nature of incentives placed on empl...
Conference Paper
Introduction Since the 1990’s, there has been a move across international jurisdictions to policies and programs that focus on work ability, not disability, and on strategies that encourage employment integration of people with temporary and permanent impairments. Almost 30 years later, we are at a point where we can reflect on those programs: thei...
Conference Paper
Introduction To ensure the health and safety of workers, most jurisdictions have implemented workplace inspection and audit systems. This presentation examines OHS in the context of the growing ‘sharing economy’, taking the case of Uber ride-sharing, who claim to keep self-employed drivers safe through measures including peer-to-peer ratings. We ad...
Article
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Purpose Applying the theoretical domains framework (TDF) and the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) to understand physicians’ behaviors and behavior change in using temporary work modifications (TWMs) for return to work (RTW). Methods Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with 15 occupational physicians (OPs). Responses were coded using t...
Article
In Quebec (Canada), the Work-Oriented Training Path, a work-study program, prepares students who are having difficulty at school for the job market. Occupational health and safety is an important part of their training. This article aims to analyze the impact of gender on the interpersonal dynamics among teachers, trainees, and key actors from the...
Article
Background Advice on fibromyalgia, a chronic illness primarily affecting women, often presents it as incompatible with work and rarely covers how to remain employed. Yet many women do. Objectives We aimed to understand how these women, their family members, and workmates portrayed employees with fibromyalgia, and how these portrayals helped women...
Article
Worker participation in the form of involvement in joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) has been associated with improvements in workplace safety and health. JHSC efficacy has been conceived in terms of outcomes such as compensation claims or lost time injury rates and existing research has focused on measuring their effectiveness and on iden...
Article
Purpose: Although work has been found to be meaningful and a source of motivation to return to work in certain disabled populations, it was unclear if this was also true for people experiencing a long period of unemployment and job loss due to a musculoskeletal injury. Therefore, the aim of this phenomenological study was to explore the meaning of...
Article
Purpose: This scoping review identifies the foci of research articles that address government laws, policies and programs designed to foster labour market integration of people who, due to illness or disability, face challenges entering or staying in the workforce. Method: A systematic search of English-language peer-reviewed articles published bet...
Article
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Previous research indicates that work modifications can effectively enhance return to work (RTW) at an early stage of work disability. We aimed to examine how occupational physicians (OPs) reason about recommending early return to work (RTW) with work modifications. Pre-defined propositions regarding the use of work modifications in promoting early...
Article
Background: We aimed to determine the strength of evidence on the effectiveness of legislative and regulatory policy levers in creating incentives for organizations to improve occupational health and safety processes and outcomes. Methods: A systematic review was undertaken to assess the strength of evidence on the effectiveness of specific poli...
Research
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FINAL REPORT TO THE ONTARIO WORKPLACE AAFETY AND INSURANCE BOARD Service work at Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), particularly in relation to the institutional context in which it takes place. Methods: Individual interviews with adjudicators, nurse case managers and customer service representatives, and managers working with s...
Article
Purpose: Theoretical and empirical research findings attest to the workplace being a social environment in which co-workers have a critical influence on the employment outcomes and return-to-work (RTW) success of other employees. However, co-workers do not have a formal role in RTW planning. The aim of this study was to explore how managers respon...
Article
Purpose: Findings from a study examining how women with fibromyalgia remain employed are used to explicate a conceptualization that adds to literature on workplace disclosure of stigmatized illnesses and impairments: disclosure dances that employees improvise in response to workplace-relationships needs and disclosure risks. Methods: Critical-di...
Article
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Objective: The ability of occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation and regulatory enforcement to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses is contingent on political, economic, and organizational conditions. This systematic review of qualitative research articles considers how OHS legislation and regulatory enforcement are planned and imple...
Article
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There is a large body of research examining work disability management and the return to work (RTW) of sick or injured workers. However, although this research makes clear the roles of the returning worker and supervisor, that of the co-workers is less well understood. To increase understanding of this topic, we have identified, reviewed, and discu...
Article
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Introduction: Previous research suggests that work with a suitable workload may promote health and work retention in people with disability. This study will examine whether temporary work modifications at the early stage of work disability are effective in enhancing return to work (RTW) or staying at work among workers with musculoskeletal or depr...
Article
Work modification is considered as an essential element in enhancing return to work (RTW) among persons with musculoskeletal problems (1) although systematic reviews have called for more studies (2) and pointed out that the net gain in sickness absence days has been only modest and economic effects uncertain (3). Loisel and his co-workers (4) showe...
Article
Effort is a concept that underlies programs assisting people with work disability to re-enter the labour force. During re-entry, attention is paid to the effort invested by the worker with an injury. However, for those with chronic work disability, the motivation to return to work (RTW) may be questioned by benefit service providers and healthcare...
Article
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Purpose: The aim was to analyze the role and activities of employers with regard to return to work (RTW), in local workplace practice. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with sick-listed workers and their supervisors in 18 workplaces (n = 36). The analytical approach to study the role of employers in RTW was based on the three-dom...
Article
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Young workers are frequently injured at work. Education and awareness strategies to prevent injuries among young workers are common but they are often ineffective. These approaches emphasize teaching, rather than learning strategies, and appear to contradict recent competency-based developments in education science. This study aimed to gain insight...
Article
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Background Survey research indicates that a surprising number of 12 to 14 year olds in North America engage in some form of paid work, and work-related injuries for this age group are reported at rates similar to older teens. Parents exhibit significant involvement in many aspects of their teens’ work and may influence perceptions of work safety, y...
Article
Purpose: Many Western welfare states have introduced early-return-to-work policies, in which getting sick-listed people back to work before they have fully recovered is presented as a rather unproblematic approach. This reflects a belief in the ability of employers and the labour market to solve sickness absence. Against this background, the aim o...