Clinical treatment and health measurement

When workers are injured, they want to know what treatments and rehabilitation programs will help ensure their full and speedy recovery. Their health-care providers, employers and workers’ compensation systems want to know, too. Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research continues to make important contributions to evidence-based practices for treating and assessing work-related injuries and disorders—in particular, acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as low-back pain, neck pain and disorders of the arms, shoulders and hands. This research also looks at prognostic factors related to recovery and rehabilitation.

Latest news and findings

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Identifying promising strategies for preventing misuse and abuse of opioids

Since the start of the opioid crisis in the late 1990s, communities across North America have tried many different strategies to curb the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids. In an open-access systematic review, an IWH team analyzes the effectiveness of the studied strategies, identifies the most promising ones, and points out unintended consequences. 

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Research impact: WHO rehabilitation guidelines build on IWH systematic reviews

In February 2017, the World Health Organization released its report Rehabilitation in health systems. Aimed primarily at low- and middle-income countries, the report sets out evidence-based recommendations to help government leaders and health policy-makers develop or extend rehabilitation services and deliver them equitably within existing health systems. Five of the nine recommendations contained in the report relied on the evidence synthesized by a research team from the Institute for Work & Health.

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IWH scientist awarded 2018-19 Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship

Institute for Work & Health Scientist Dr. Andrea Furlan is among 12 pain experts in the United States and Canada to win a 2018-19 Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship. The 12 winners will attend a four-day workshop in Washington, D.C. to learn skills to effectively communicate and advocate for the translation of scientific research and evidence-based best practices in pain care and management.

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Five reasons why mental illness claims are so challenging for benefit administrators

Benefit claims for mental illness are a challenge for income support program administrators. How to prove the illness and verify its duration are just some of the difficulties identified by Dr. Ashley McAllister in her study on policy design. McAllister, a post-doctoral fellow at Sweden’s Karolinksa Institute, recently shared her findings at a plenary hosted by IWH, where she was a visiting researcher. Read the highlights of that presentation in a new At Work article.

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IWH research team plays key role in new rehabilitation guidelines from WHO

Strengthening rehabilitation services is becoming a key challenge to health systems around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In February, the global body released new guidelines encouraging countries to ramp up their rehabilitation services to ensure people with health conditions function at their best. The guidelines are evidence-based—and that is where IWH comes in. Institute Scientist Dr. Andrea Furlan led a team that provided the research evidence behind five of the nine recommendations in the new WHO guidelines.

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