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June/July 2012 (vol. 09/1)

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Research Plus

RTW interventions

Interventions carried out early (within the first six weeks) and involving multidisciplinary teams (eg OH, physiotherapy, GP, psychologists) are the most effective in facilitating return to work (RTW), according to this systematic review (23 papers). Interventions that include maintaining contact with the employer/ workforce improve RTW rates at 12 months for musculoskeletal complaints. Interventions that follow a pre-defined schedule – such as a set number of sessions – are effective for physical complaints, but evidence is inconsistent for psychological conditions. ‘Activating’ interventions (eg gradual RTW) are effective for physical conditions. Generic interventions, targeted at all absent employees irrespective of diagnosis, are not effective.

Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2012; online first: 10.1007/s10926-012-9359-z.

Occupational Health at Work June/July 2012 (vol. 09/1) pp39