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August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2)

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Research Plus

Integrated RTW programmes

There is a lack of quality evidence on the effectiveness of integrated workplace disability management programmes (WPDM) – defined as policies and practices systematically provided by employers to promote RTW and job retention – according to this systematic review. It included two non-randomised and 11 before-and-after studies. Various specific interventions have previously been shown to improve RTW, but this review is unique because it focuses on integrated programmes provided by employers. WPDM programmes are hugely varied, and include any number of components, eg RTW policies, workplace adjustments, on-site physiotherapy, tailored job modification, workplace assessment, RTW coordination or disability case management, early contact when off sick, and education of staff and managers. Evidence quality was low and the review was unable to determine whether any reported effectiveness resulted from specific programme components or the programmes as a whole. Most programmes targeted musculoskeletal disorders and there was a lack of evidence on WPDM for mental health conditions.

Campbell Systematic Reviews 2012; 17:doi: 10.4073/csr.2012.17

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Occupational Health at Work August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2) pp40