Plain-language summaries

Institute for Work & Health (IWH) plain-language summaries condense research findings in various formats. At Work articles explain study results with comments from the study leads. Research Highlights summarize journal articles in easy-to-read, digest formats. Sharing Best Evidence summaries highlight findings from systematic reviews and other types of reviews conducted or led by IWH researchers. Issue Briefings discuss key research findings from IWH or elsewhere on topics that are of particular interest to policy-makers.

Close-up of a faceless jogger, lacing up her running shoes
Research Highlights

Physical activity levels and work factors over 12 years

Over a 12-year-period, Canadians whose jobs became more physically or mentally demanding became slightly less likely to exercise more. They were also slightly less likely to exercise more when working long hours or working in jobs that offered them little say in how to use their skills.
Published:
A close-up of a man's hand, holding a joint
At Work article

At-work use of cannabis reported by 1 in 12 workers—no change since legalization

In follow-up study of cannabis use before and after legalization in Canada, IWH research team found a rise in casual use, but no increase in at-work or daily use
Published:
Close-up of two pairs of hands, belong to a counsellor and a patient sitting on a couch
Research Highlights

Access to mental health treatment among workers with physical injuries

Among workers with a compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal injury, 30 per cent also experience a serious mental condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health conditions, according to an IWH study conducted in Australia.
Published:
A young man behind the wheel of a car checks his smartphone
Research Highlights

Exploring the health and safety risks facing ride-share drivers

Ride-share drivers face physical and mental health risks that are not only similar to, but also distinct from, those of taxi drivers. Beyond the risks experienced by taxi drivers, ride-share drivers face stressors unique to this form of work.
Published:
A tangled telephone cord
Research Highlights

Examining communication and collaboration barriers among health and case management professionals

Communication barriers between health-care providers and case managers appear to stem from differences in communication styles, professional priorities and philosophical perspectives about the timing and appropriateness of return to work. Barriers exist even among practitioners of different health disciplines.
Published:
blurry silhouettes of two colleagues talking
At Work article

Poorer post-injury experiences lead to worse RTW outcomes for psychological claimants

IWH’s 12-month follow-up study of injured workers in Australia found many interconnected differences in return-to-work process for physical and psychological claimants
Published:
A hard hat, placed next to a check list, against a black background
At Work article

Can an eight-item questionnaire pick up on real-world differences in OHS practice?

Study of IWH-OPM finds consistent differences in how high and medium scorers approach health and safety
Published:
Close-up of Euro bill and map of Europe
At Work article

Estimating the societal costs of work injuries and illnesses in five EU countries

New economic burden method developed by IWH used to estimate the value of OHS to workers, employers, society at large
Published:
Japanese craftsperson stands in front of his workstation, smiling
Sharing Best Evidence

What workplace interventions help workers with MSDs, pain and mental health conditions return to work?

This update of a previous systematic review sets out to find workplace-based interventions that are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal, pain-related and/or mental health conditions return to work.
Published:
A form being filled out, next to a stack of binders and a safety helmet
At Work article

Employers certified by COR programs have greater reduction in injury rates: studies

Firms in B.C.’s, Alberta’s Certificate of Recognition programs have 12 to 14 per cent greater reduction
Published:
Wooden blocks spell out the words 'fair,' and 'yes or no?'
At Work article

Claimants’ perceptions of fair treatment linked to lower odds of poor mental health

IWH study found claimants who said case managers treated them with dignity, and gave them needed information, had lower risks of psychological distress
Published:
A roomful of working adults listen to a presenter
At Work article

Program raised workplace mental health awareness, but not likelihood of policy

A Thunder Bay community-based program led to greater employer knowledge of mental health issues, but little changes on the ground, finds researcher
Published:
A drawing of a man pulling on the cork stopper off a bottle
At Work article

Addressing communication issues faced by supervisors, case managers key to well-run RTW process

IWH study of disability management in large, complex organizations focuses on communication bottlenecks experienced by supervisors, case managers
Published:
A large group of seniors looking at camera
At Work article

Understanding employment patterns among older workers in four countries

Study finds relationships among education level, disability, work participation not always as expected
Published:
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor
Research Highlights

Comparing the retirement expectations of older workers with and without chronic conditions

Workers with arthritis and diabetes, despite their health difficulties, have similar retirement plans as their healthy peers. Yet workers with chronic conditions are more likely than their healthy peers to report having retired previously and returned to work, often in part-time positions.
Published:
A man feeds his mom at a hospital bedside
At Work article

Raising awareness about caregiver supports results in savings for employer: study

Cost-benefit analysis examines information campaign targeting university staff with caregiving duties
Published:
A silhouette of two palms held upward, cupping the sun
At Work article

Psychosocial work conditions linked with both positive and negative mental health

Institute for Work & Health study finds greater job control, job security and social support are linked to lower risks of mental illness and greater likelihood of flourishing mental well-being
Published:
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor
At Work article

Despite pain and fatigue, older workers with chronic conditions want to work to age 65

IWH study of retirement expectations finds boomers with health issues have same plans as healthy peers
Published:
Sticky note clipped to a notebook reads "welcome aboard"
At Work article

Review confirms prevention system’s message about injury risks and new workers

IWH systematic review finds evidence for higher risks of acute injuries, but inconclusive evidence for MSD risks, during workers’ first year
Published:
Top-down view of a desk with a clipboard and a report
Research Highlights

How do OHS leaders use health and safety benchmarking?

Workplace health and safety leaders use benchmarking reports on health and safety performance to help inform decision-making and improve occupational health and safety performance. That's according to an interview-based study of OHS leaders who took part in an IWH leading indicators research project.
Published: