Getting the message right: strengthening RTW communication in B.C.'s health-care sector

Reasons for the study

Communication between work disability parties and an injured worker is an important aspect of organizational work disability prevention and management policies and procedures. Studies indicate that work disability parties who effectively deliver messages regarding return to work (RTW) to an injured worker are more likely to encourage work reintegration. To date, little guidance and few applied tools are available to help work disability parties know what they should say to an injured worker and how they should deliver information regarding RTW. This study is designed to help fill this gap by conducting research within British Columbia's health-care sector about effective RTW communication.

Objectives of the study

  • To identify how workplace parties responsible for disability management effectively communicate RTW messages to workers with occupational injuries
  • To examine how the delivery of RTW messages influences the perceptions of injured workers about return to work
  • To explore insights from work disability parties and workers who have experienced an occupational injury
  • To identify how insights can be integrated into the development of an evidence-based toolkit to guide RTW communication practices

Anticipated results/impact

Disability managers, direct supervisors and workers' compensation board case managers—in B.C.'s health-care sector and beyond—may find the information useful in improving disability management and RTW communication practices and policies.

Project status

Ongoing

Research team

Participating organizations

Back in Motion
B.C. Interior Health Authority
B.C. Northern Health Authority
B.C. Nurses Union
WorkSafeBC

Funded by

WorkSafeBC Innovation at Work