Research has focused on advancing our understanding of strategies to improve return to work outcomes following a physical injury. There has been limited research on the different types of supports needed for workers returning to work following a psychological injury. Developing a better understanding of work limitations when people are back at work is a key step in the development of strategies in this area. Unfortunately, measurement tools have been established separately by injury type, limiting research opportunities to compare differences in work limitations. In this article, we compare two measures of work functioning in a population of claimants that have returned to work following a musculoskeletal or psychological injury: a modified version of the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ) developed for workers with physical injuries and the Lam Employed Absence Productivity Scale (LEAPS) developed for workers with mental health claims. A telephone questionnaire was administered to 214 claimants who returned to work following a claim for a psychological injury or a musculoskeletal injury. While the modified WLQ detected differences in work limitations by injury type, there were no significant differences in levels of work functioning detected by the LEAPS. The comparison demonstrated the value of including questions about work limitations that go beyond mental and interpersonal demands for claimants with psychological injuries; however, there is also a need to limit questions about physical constraints. A modified version of the WLQ is recommended to further our understandings of the similarities and differences in the experiences of workers with psychological versus physical injuries.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 2, 2016
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