Role of health-care providers in the workers’ compensation system and return-to-work process

Reasons for the study

International research has generated strong evidence that health-care providers play an important role in the return-to-work (RTW) process. This research also suggests that health-care providers sometimes struggle with facilitating the return to work of their patients. Pressure on consultation time, administrative challenges and limited knowledge about a patient’s workplace can thwart active engagement. This two-year study focuses on the experiences of health-care providers within the workers’ compensation system and how their role in the RTW process can be enhanced.

Objectives of the study

  • To identify programs, guidelines, forms and policies developed by workers’ compensation boards designed to facilitate the engagement of health-care providers in the RTW process
  • To understand the perceived role of health-care providers in the RTW process, including the challenges they face related to interacting with workers’ compensation boards, injured workers, employers and other health-care providers
  • To find practical ways of facilitating the meaningful engagement of health-care providers in RTW

Anticipated results/impact

The results of this study will be relevant to health-care providers, disability prevention policy-makers, case managers and RTW coordinators. The findings will help identify policies and practices that facilitate health-care provider involvement in RTW.

Related scientific publications

Related presentations

Project status

Completed 2017

Research team

  • Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Dorcas Beaton, Institute for Work & Health
  • Andrea Furlan, Institute for Work & Health
  • Marni Lifshen, Institute for Work & Health
  • Juliette Cooper, University of Manitoba
  • Mieke Koehoorn, University of British Columbia
  • Ellen MacEachen, University of Waterloo
  • Barbara Neis, Memorial University
  • Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizaitons

  • Office of the Employer Adviser (Ontario
  • St. Boniface Hospital (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
  • WorkSafeBC

Funded by

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba