Chronic conditions and work

Chronic conditions refer to diseases and health conditions that last a long time and generally progress slowly. Although they can occur at any age, they become more common later in life. They are often invisible, sometimes episodic (i.e. they come and go) and often characterized by fluctuating symptoms that leave people disabled one day and functional the next. Examples of chronic diseases include arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, depression and fibromyalgia. IWH research in this area focuses on the effects of chronic disease on work participation and productivity, as well as the effectiveness of job accommodations, benefits and other programs to ensure workers with chronic disease can stay at, or return to, work.

Featured

A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

IWH study of older workers finds those in good health similar to those with arthritis or diabetes in using—and benefiting from—programs such as flex-time and telework
Published: February 12, 2019
A young woman sits in front of the desk of an older man in a suit and tie, both smiling
At Work article

Supported job placements help young adults with disabilities find work: review

IWH systematic review finds strong evidence for job placements offered with personalized coaching
Published: February 12, 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Activity impairment and work productivity loss after total knee arthroplasty: a prospective study

Published: Journal of Arthroplasty, November 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Impact of a caregiver-friendly workplace policies intervention: a prospective economic evaluation

Published: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Job strain and the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension among white-collar workers

Published: Hypertension Research, June 2019
Journal article
Journal article

The current burden of cancer attributable to occupational exposures in Canada

Published: Preventative Medicine, May 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Prostate cancer risk by occupation in the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) in Ontario, Canada

Published: Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice, May 2019
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Journal article

Supporting the transition into employment: a study of Canadian young adults living with disabilities

Published: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, March 2019
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Canadian Occupational Safety logo
IWH in the media

Tailored support effective for young workers with disabilities

Young adults today have difficulty entering the labour market, especially those with chronic disabling conditions. A systematic review of the relevant research found tailored supported employment interventions can help young individuals with chronic disabilities succeed on the job, Amanda Silliker reports.
Published: Canadian Occupational Safety, February 2019
A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

Yes, older workers with diabetes or arthritis experience fatigue and pain. But they're not that different from healthy peers in how much they need, or use, workplace accommodations, an IWH study has found.
Published: February 2019
A young woman sits in front of the desk of an older man in a suit and tie, both smiling
At Work article

Supported job placements help young adults with disabilities find work: review

Job placements, offered in tandem with a suite of tailored employment supports, can help young people with disabilities make the transition into the labour force, according to an IWH systematic review.
Published: February 2019