Effectiveness of workplace-based return-to-work programs: a systematic review update

Reasons for the study

A systematic review of workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) interventions was carried out by the Institute and published in 2004. The review included studies published between January 1990 and December 2003. This project is an update of the original work using an enlarged scope of review to examine the process dimensions of workplace-based RTW and work disability management interventions/support. This project includes and updates both the quantitative and qualitative literature. The updated review facilitates the integration of high quality best practice research evidence into the development of return-to-work policies and programs.

Objectives of the study

  • To update the quantitative and qualitative research on the effectiveness of workplace-based RTW programs 
  • To update the Seven ‘Principles’ for Successful Return to Work guide based on the findings, if necessary

Anticipated results/impact

Workplace and systems stakeholders responsible for RTW and disability management will be kept abreast of the latest research on what makes workplace-based RTW programs effective.

Related scientific publications

Related interviews and articles

Related presentations

Project status

Completed 2017

Research team

  • Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Ben Amick, Institute for Work & Health
  • Caroline Cawley, Institute for Work & Health
  • Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
  • Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Institute for Work & Health
  • Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health
  • Vicki Kristman, Institute for Work & Health
  • Quenby Mahood, Institute for Work & Health
  • Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health
  • Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health
  • Alex Collie, Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
  • Sharon Newman, Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
  • Andrew Palagyi, Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
  • Rasa Ruseckaite, Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
  • Swati Shourie, Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
  • Ulrik Gensby, Norway National Centre for Occupational Rehabilitation
  • Paul Jennings, Monash University
  • Diane Sheppard, Monash University
  • Marie Laberge, University of Quebec

Participating organizaitons

  • Infrastructure Health & Safety Association
  • Injured Workers’ Consultants
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union
  • Public Services Health and Safety Association
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
  • Workplace Safety North

Funded by

Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research