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A review of best work-absence management and return-to-work practices for workers with musculoskeletal or common mental disorders

A review of best work-absence management and return-to-work practices for workers with... BACKGROUND: Workplace absenteeism is still a curse for developed countries, and more systematic practices need to be adopted to address this issue. OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on best practices for managing work absences related to musculoskeletal or common mental disorders. METHODS: A review was conducted by performing a search in bibliographic databases and on work-disability research institute websites. Recommendations regarding work-absence management and return-to-work practices were extracted from all the retained documents and organized within a chronological framework. RESULTS: In total, 17 documents were analyzed, leading to identification of common work-absence management and return-to-work practices, the importance of a worker support approach, and recommended roles and responsibilities for stakeholders. These practices were then integrated into a six-step process: (1) time off and recovery period; (2) initial contact with the worker; (3) evaluation of the worker and his job tasks; (4) development of a return-to-work plan with accommodations; (5) work resumption, and (6) follow-up of the return-to-work process. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this review, we constructed a comprehensive work-absence management and return-to-work process designed to assist organizations. Our results indicate that such a process must be included within a broader policy of health promotion and job retention. Adaptations will be required for implementation in the workplace. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation IOS Press

A review of best work-absence management and return-to-work practices for workers with musculoskeletal or common mental disorders

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1051-9815
eISSN
1875-9270
DOI
10.3233/WOR-141914
pmid
24990281
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Workplace absenteeism is still a curse for developed countries, and more systematic practices need to be adopted to address this issue. OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on best practices for managing work absences related to musculoskeletal or common mental disorders. METHODS: A review was conducted by performing a search in bibliographic databases and on work-disability research institute websites. Recommendations regarding work-absence management and return-to-work practices were extracted from all the retained documents and organized within a chronological framework. RESULTS: In total, 17 documents were analyzed, leading to identification of common work-absence management and return-to-work practices, the importance of a worker support approach, and recommended roles and responsibilities for stakeholders. These practices were then integrated into a six-step process: (1) time off and recovery period; (2) initial contact with the worker; (3) evaluation of the worker and his job tasks; (4) development of a return-to-work plan with accommodations; (5) work resumption, and (6) follow-up of the return-to-work process. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this review, we constructed a comprehensive work-absence management and return-to-work process designed to assist organizations. Our results indicate that such a process must be included within a broader policy of health promotion and job retention. Adaptations will be required for implementation in the workplace.

Journal

WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and RehabilitationIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2014

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