Role of aging in return to work and stay at work: a systematic review

Reasons for the study

The aging workforce is leading to increased attention being paid to the health of aging workers. Reviews show that older workers’ health and well-being benefit from work participation in “good work.” This project synthesizes the literature on return to work in older workers to identify factors that help them stay employed, avoid reinjury and successfully return to work. The project evaluates the success of existing interventions and proposes new areas of focus.

Objectives of the study

  • To summarize the effectiveness of interventions that help older injured workers successfully return to work
  • To summarize the factors that play a role in helping older injured workers successfully return to work so that these factors can be incorporated into the development of interventions

Anticipated results/impact

The results will be relevant to policy-makers, work disability prevention specialists, employers, employees and clinicians looking to apply evidence on the most effective return-to-work practices for an aging workforce.

Related scientific publications

Steenstra I, Cullen KL, Irvin E, Van Eerd D, Alavinia M, Beaton DE, Geary J, Gignac MA, Gross D, Mahood Q, Macdonald S, Puts M, Scott-Marshall H, Yazdani A. A systematic review of interventions to promote work participation in older workers. Journal of Safety Research. 2017;60:93. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2016.12.004.

Project status


Research team

Ivan Steenstra, Institute for Work & Health
Dorcas Beaton, Institute for Work & Health
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Amin Yazdani, Institute for Work & Health
Patrick Loisel, University of Toronto
Greg McIntosh, CBI Health Group
Glenn Pransky, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety
Martine Puts, University of Toronto
Ross Wilkie, Keele University

Participating organizations

Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research