Clinical treatment and health measurement

When workers are injured, they want to know what treatments and rehabilitation programs will help ensure their full and speedy recovery. Their health-care providers, employers and workers’ compensation systems want to know, too. Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research continues to make important contributions to evidence-based practices for treating and assessing work-related injuries and disorders—in particular, acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as low-back pain, neck pain and disorders of the arms, shoulders and hands. This research also looks at prognostic factors related to recovery and rehabilitation.

Latest news and findings

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IWH study finds workers are using cannabis to treat work-related conditions, mostly without medical guidance

One in seven workers with a work-related physical injury or illness said they used cannabis to treat the condition. That’s according to an IWH study based on interviews conducted with workers 18 to 36 months after their work-related illness or injury. Importantly, most of these workers had not received medical guidance on the therapeutic use of cannabis.

Read about the study
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What do physicians need to know to support patients’ RTW?

While primary care physicians play an important role in helping ill and injured workers return to work (RTW), they have a variety of learning needs about how to best navigate the RTW process. That’s according to an IWH study that found that physicians could benefit from additional training in four main areas: administrative tasks, personal beliefs about RTW, specific occupational health issues and available RTW services and tools.

Read about the study
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Telementoring program helps care providers with challenging RTW cases

The first two rounds of the world’s first ECHO program on occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) have wrapped up, and preparation is underway for a third round this fall. We spoke to some of the health-care practitioners who attended the first two rounds to learn how ECHO OEM has helped with their most challenging return-to-work cases.

Read about ECHO OEM participants’ perspectives
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Now recruiting health-care providers for new ECHO OEM mentoring project  

A new Project ECHO program on occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) has been launched! This telementoring project, which includes a research component led by IWH, is designed to offer support and advice to Ontario health-care providers who have patients with work-related health conditions. The program is now recruiting primary care providers—including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other allied health professionals. Sessions are held via videoconference each Friday from September 17 to December 3, 2021.

Find out more and sign up
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IWH set to launch telementoring project on occupational medicine for health professionals

Frontline health-care providers play an important role in helping people return to work following a work-related injury or illness. But family doctors and other frontline practitioners may lack familiarity with the workers’ compensation system and return-to-work processes. A new telementoring project is being launched in Ontario to address this skills gap. Project ECHO on Occupational and Environmental Medicine, to be hosted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), will launch in the fall. It will be the first such project on occupational medicine, using the innovative hub-and-spoke health-care mentoring model called ECHO—short for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes—that’s now used around the world.

Find out more