Measuring what matters: Conceptualizing return to work through concept mapping

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Rhysa Tagen Leyshon
University of Western Ontario

The evaluation and comparison of return-to-work (RTW) programs and interventions is difficult because no standard, valid outcome measure exists. RTW outcomes are typically measured using administratively based scales that fail to take the perspectives of workers and other stakeholders into consideration. As a first step in developing any outcome measure, the outcomes of interest and importance to key stakeholders need to be established.

In this presentation, Rhysa Tagen Leyshon of the Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation at the University of Western Ontario, will discuss a study that set out to generate a trusted and credible conceptual framework of successful RTW reflecting the values of all stakeholders equally and fairly. An integrated form of concept mapping was employed using a multi-stakeholder, Ontario perspective. Participants generated concepts around worker performance, worker job satisfaction, human rights, worker well-being, seamless RTW process through collaborative communication, and satisfaction of stakeholders other than workers.

The concepts will be used to develop a return-to-work outcome tool that goes beyond administrative-type scales by reflecting the perspectives of all stakeholders and by measuring work based on criteria deemed important to key stakeholders. These results may also shed light on what could be missing from RTW programming.