Prognostic factors for time away from work among workers with chronic low-back pain: a systematic review update

Reasons for the study

Workers, employers and workers’ compensation boards have many questions about the impact of low-back pain (LBP) on return to work. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) has been assessing the evidence on factors that predict duration of time away from work among workers who are at the beginning of a LBP-related episode. In 2005, IWH published a systematic review on prognostic factors for duration on sick leave due to acute low-back pain. This study expands this systemic review by looking at the prognostic factors for duration on sick leave due to chronic low-back pain.

Objectives of the study

The findings and resulting evidence-based handbook will be relevant to disability managers, clinicians, researchers and employers looking to improve their RTW practices that involve workers with low-back pain.

Related scientific publications

Steenstra IA, Munhall C, Irvin E, Oranye N, Passmore S, Van Eerd D, Mahood Q, Hogg-Johnson S. Systematic review of prognostic factors for return to work in workers with sub acute and chronic low back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2017;27(3):369. doi:10.1007/s10926-016-9666-x.

Project status

Completed 2017

Research team

Ivan Steenstra, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Quenby Mahood, Institute for Work & Health
Claire Munhall, Institute for Work & Health
Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health
Nelson Oranye, University of Manitoba
Steve Passmore, University of Manitoba

Participating organizations

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

Funded by

Manitoba Workers Compensation Board, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario's Research Advisory Council