h2. Spotlight on article published in

h2. "+Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation+":http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10926-005-8038-8

_IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work by external researchers. Unless otherwise stated, the authors are not affiliated with IBI, nor was the research executed on IBI’s behalf. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder._

h2. What is the Issue?

Workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) interventions are increasingly being integrated into employers and insurer’s disability policies. Understanding their potential effectiveness is warranted.

h2. What are the findings/solutions?

* There is strong evidence that offers of work accommodation and contact between healthcare providers and the work place can reduce musculoskeletal and pain-related disability durations.
* There is moderate evidence that contact with the absent worker early in the disability, ergonomic worksite visits, and RTW coordinators can reduce musculoskeletal and pain-related disability durations.
* With the exception of funds for supplemental workers, there is moderate evidence that each of the different components of RTW can result in net cost savings.

h2. Journal Citation

Franche, R. L., Cullen, K., Clarke, J., Irvin, E., Sinclair, S., & Frank, J. (2005) Workplace-Based Return-to-Work Interventions: A Systematic Review of the Quantitative Literature. _Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation_, 15(4), 607-631.

h2. Objectives

To understand the effectiveness of workplace RTW interventions at reducing disability durations and reducing the costs of disability absence.

h2. Method

A systematic review of 35 studies of workplace RTW interventions for employees on leave for musculoskeletal conditions or for chronic/episodic pain. Ten studies were of sufficient quality to produce credible results. Components of RTW interventions included:
* Work accommodation offers
* Contact between the healthcare provider and the workplace
* Ergonomic work site visits
* Funds to pay supplemental worker while employee is on modified duty
* RTW coordination
Relevant outcomes included in the analyses were work disability durations and economic costs (wage replacements, healthcare, and intervention costs).

h2. Results

The evidence for the success of different RTW components on desirable lost-time and economic outcomes are summarized below.

*Early contact with the worker*
* Disability duration: Moderate
* Net costs savings: Moderate

*Work accommodation offers*
* Disability duration: Strong
* Net costs savings: Moderate

*Contact between the healthcare provider and the workplace*
* Disability duration: Strong
* Net costs savings: Moderate

*Ergonomic work site visits*
* Disability duration: Moderate
* Net costs savings: Moderate

*Funds to pay supplemental worker while employee is on modified duty*
* Disability duration: Insufficient
* Net costs savings: Insufficient

*RTW coordination*
* Disability duration: Moderate
* Net costs savings: Moderate

h2. Conclusion:

The authors conclude that the evidence supports workplace-based RTW interventions to reduce disability durations and associated costs.

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