Supporting return to work among employees with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions: an evidence-based practical resource

Front page of Supporting return to work among employees with muscuskoletal or mental health conditions resource

Published: May 2019

This resource synthesizes the research evidence on the practical solutions that workplaces can implement—in conjunction with workers’ compensation, insurance and health-care authorities—to support the return to work (RTW) of employees with musculoskeletal disorders or mental health conditions. This two-page guide emphasizes that the most effective RTW strategies package together interventions from more than one of three areas of RTW support: health services, case coordination and work modification. 

The key messages in the resource come from systematic reviews conducted at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). These systematic reviews scanned the research literature for quality evidence about the effectiveness of workplace and system-based RTW interventions.

These systematic reviews build on the 2007 findings of a previous IWH systematic review on return to work that resulted in the popular Seven "Principles" for Successful Return to Work.

Who should use this resource

This resource provides high-level guidance on effective workplace-based RTW strategies to employers, disability management professionals, return-to-work coordinators, human resources professionals, worker representatives, workers' compensation and insurance case managers, and other stakeholders with an interest in effective workplace RTW practices.