Ontario Life After Work Injury Study: Cannabis use and long-term recovery and return-to-work outcomes among Ontario injured workers
Reasons for the study
Interest is growing in the role of medical cannabis for the treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses. However, little is known about how workers with work-related conditions use cannabis and how their use may relate to their recovery and return to work.
In this study, workers’ compensation claimants who participated in the Ontario Life After Work Injury Study (OLAWIS) are being interviewed again 18 months after their first interview (i.e. about three years after filing their workers' compensation claim). The aim is to better understand their experiences with using cannabis for their work-related condition, as well as their experiences seeking medical authorization and workers' compensation reimbursement for this use. More in-depth interviews with select workers from the larger sample will provide important context to these issues.
Objectives of the study
- Describe condition-related cannabis use patterns, changes in use from 18 months to 36 months post-claim, and the factors considered by workers when deciding whether to use cannabis for their work-related condition
- Describe patterns of medical authorization and workers’ compensation reimbursement for condition-related use of cannabis and the factors considered by workers when deciding whether to request medical authorization and reimbursement
- Evaluate the cross-sectional and longitudinal association between condition-related use of cannabis and recovery and return-to-work outcomes
Information on the original OLAWIS study is available on this project page. Information on a study that is also using the OLAWIS cohort to look at outcomes among people recovering and returning to work in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic is available on this project page.
This project will provide information to health-care providers, injured worker advocates and workers’ compensation authorities to help inform programs, policies and practices around cannabis use among injured an ill workers in Ontario, including an identification of the worker subgroups most likely to benefit from guidance around use.
Related scientific publications
- Carnide N, Nadalin V, Mustard C, Severin C, Furlan AD, Smith PM. Cannabis use among workers with work-related injuries and illnesses: results from a cross-sectional study of workers' compensation claimants in Ontario, Canada. BMJ Open. 2023;13(7):e072994. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072994. (Open access)
Related research summaries
- Workers are using cannabis to treat work-related conditions, mostly without medical guidance. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, October 2023.
Collaborators and partners
Canadian Injured Workers Alliance
Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic
Prevention Link (Ontario Federation of Labour)
Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Canadian Institutes of Health Research