Dr. Chris McLeod

PhD, University of British Columbia

Dr. Chris McLeod's appointment in 2013 as an associate scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) was a homecoming of sorts. Thirteen years earlier, as a master's student in economics, he was hired as a research associate at the Institute for a three-year term. Later, after he earned his PhD in population and public health from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2009, he joined the Institute's roster of adjunct scientists.

The Institute for Work & Health played a key role my decision to pursue a career as a researcher in work and health, says McLeod, who became a full scientist at IWH in 2017. Because the Institute supported me in a variety of ways, I stayed in the area of work and health. That wouldn't have happened without the Institute introducing me to the field and maintaining an ongoing supportive relationship.

McLeod went on to be an important contributor to the field. Today, he is the co-research lead at the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety at the School of Population and Public Health at  UBC. The "partnership" between the university and WorkSafeBC, the provincial workers’ compensation board, takes the lead in work-related health research in the province. It develops and promotes the use of routinely collected health and compensation data from multiple sources via a data partner, Population Data BC. The data allows for research on the entire working-age population over a 25-year period, providing a unique and comprehensive portrait of the health and well-being of the province's workers.

McLeod's access to British Columbia's data also enriches the research work of the Institute, allowing for cross-jurisdictional studies. For example, McLeod is leading research involving the Institute comparing injury rates and disability duration nationally, across B.C., Manitoba and Ontario, and internationally, across additional Canadian provinces, Australian states and the country of New Zealand. McLeod is also working to apply the Institute’s leading indicators research in B.C.  What initially attracted me to IWH was its broad-based view of population health studies, and I'm glad to be able to continue contributing to that today, he says.

In 2013, McLeod was awarded a prestigious five-year New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In 2016, he was also awarded the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award (2016-2021).

Current projects: 

Return to work after work injury and illness: An international comparative effectiveness study of Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Assessment of the human and economic burden of workplace cancer: Estimation of economic burden

Leading indicators baseline project: Applying the IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) to the long-term health-care sector in British Columbia

Gender, sex and work injury, illness and disability

A comparative analysis of severe work-related injuries and long-duration claims in three Canadian provinces: Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario

Selected Publications: 

Koehoorn M, Tamburic L, Xu F, Alamgir H, Demers P, McLeod C. Characteristics of work-related fatal and hospitalised injuries not captured in workers' compensation data. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2015; doi:10.1136/oemed-2014-102543 [Epub 2015 Feb 23].

Smith P, Bielecky A, Ibrahim S, Mustard C, Saunders R, Beaton D, Koehoorn M, McLeod C, Scott-Marshall H, Hogg-Johnson S. Impact of pre-existing chronic conditions on age differences in sickness absence after a musculoskeletal work injury: A path analysis approach. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health. 2014; 40(2):167-175; doi:10.5271/sjweh.3397.

McLeod C, Lavis L, MacNab Y, Hertzman C. Unemployment and mortality: A comparative study of Germany and the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 2012;102(8):1542-50; doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300475 [Epub 2012 Jun 14].

Koehoorn M, McLeod C, Fan J, Hogg-Johnson S, Cote P, McGrail K, Barer M. Do private clinics or expedited fees reduce disability duration for injured workers following knee surgery? Healthcare Policy, 2011; 7(1):55-70; doi:10.12927/hcpol.2011.22528.

McLeod C. hall P, Siddiqi A, Hertzman C. How society shapes the health gradient: Work-related health inequalities in a comparative perspective. Annual Review of Public Health, 2012: 33:59-73; doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031811-124603.