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December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4)

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Research Plus

Predicting future disability and return to work

A systematic review of literature on prognostic factors for return-to-work time and disability for workers off sick with mental ill health found strong evidence that older age (above 50 years) is associated with continuing disability and longer return-to-work time. There is limited evidence that health-related factors (stress related ill health, shoulder/back pain and depression/anxiety) and other personal factors (male gender, previous sickness absence, individual’s own expectation of absence duration, and socioeconomic status) are associated with longer duration of disability. There is limited evidence that either full or partial return to work, as well as changing work tasks, is associated with symptom recovery. Conversely, unemployment and poor quality OH interventions aimed at the organisation are associated with increased disability.

Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2010; online first: doi: 10.1007/s10926-010-9261-5.

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4) pp45