Therapeutic Return to Work: Rehabilitation in the workplace

Work. 2001;17(1):57-63.


Therapeutic Return to Work is a work rehabilitation program linking graded work exposure with functional restoration therapy for chronic low back pain. This study evaluates the impact of the program on stable return to work (RTW) and compares it with the impact on RTW of three frequently used ways of management of back pain (normative comparison). At two year follow-up, 93% of participants of the Therapeutic Return to Work program were working. This rate was higher than in the comparison groups. Although limited by its norm-referenced evaluation design, the results of this study indicate the importance of placing the work site in the center of the of work rehabilitation process. In this program occupational therapists make full use of the client's natural environment.