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IWH set to launch telementoring project on occupational medicine for health professionals

Frontline health-care providers play an important role in helping people return to work following a work-related injury or illness. But family doctors and other frontline practitioners may lack familiarity with the workers’ compensation system and return-to-work processes. A new telementoring project is being launched in Ontario to address this skills gap. Project ECHO on Occupational and Environmental Medicine, to be hosted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), will launch in the fall. It will be the first such project on occupational medicine, using the innovative hub-and-spoke health-care mentoring model called ECHO—short for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes—that’s now used around the world.

Dr. Monique Gignac
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IWH’s Dr. Monique Gignac recognized for arthritis-related research service work

Congratulations to IWH Senior Scientist and Scientific Co-Director Dr. Monique Gignac. In early November, the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Professions (ARP) named her a recipient of one of its 2019 service awards. The ARP Addie Thomas award recognizes an association member who has been an active volunteer involved with local, regional, national and/or international arthritis-related activities. 

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Institute accepting applications for post-doctoral Mustard fellowships in work and health

New researchers with an expertise in social, behavioural, organizational, clinical and/or population health sciences are invited to apply for a post-doctoral Mustard Fellowship in Work & Health. The Institute is looking for recent PhD graduates with an interest in doing research related to one of its two overarching priorities: work as a determinant of health and health as a determinant of work. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 14, 2018.

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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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Health-care providers face workers’ compensation challenges when dealing with complex injuries: IWH study

Most health-care providers, when treating acute and visible injuries, find the workers’ compensation system and return-to-work process relatively straightforward. But when treating patients with gradual onset, invisible or complex conditions, the challenges can be many. A new study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) examines the challenges from the perspectives of health-care providers and case managers in four provinces. Dr. Agnieszka Kosny shared the findings at a recent plenary and in an At Work article, now online.

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New video looks at the success of the DASH

In the early 1990s, there was a growing recognition of the need for patient-reported outcome measures for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries affecting the upper limb—the arm, shoulder or hand. That was why a team at the Institute for Work & Health and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons developed the DASH Outcome Measure. Twenty years later, the DASH is used across the world in more than 50 languages. Its impact is felt in both research and clinical settings. In this video, DASH developers talk about why they think it's stood the test of time.