Understanding why gender and age differences exist in RTW outcomes following a musculoskeletal injury

Reasons for the study

Studies on return to work (RTW) consistently show that female workers and older workers are two groups that have poorer recovery outcomes and longer absences from work following a work-related injury. While we know factors such as recovery expectations, offers of work accommodation, interactions with health-care providers, workplace contact and more are associated with the length of absence following a work injury, we don’t know if these factors differ for women compared to men, or for older workers compared to younger workers. This study will help us understand how these factors differ for women and men, and for older workers and younger workers, as well as the interventions that may be more effective for each of these groups.

Objectives of the study

  • To better understand factors at the individual, occupational, workplace and health-care provider levels that mediate the relationship between age and gender/sex and RTW outcomes following a musculoskeletal injury.
  • To identify situations where gender/sex and age moderate the relationship between injury, occupational, workplace and health-care provider factors and RTW outcomes following a musculoskeletal injury

Anticipated results/impact

Findings from this study will provide important information on the targeted interventions that should be developed in order to improve the recovery and economic outcomes of female workers and older workers following a work-related injury.

Project status

Completed

Research team

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Institute for Work & Health
Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizations

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research