Objectives: To examine, using administrative and self-reported data, the relationship between early return-to-work (RTW) strategies and work absence duration.
Methods: Using a cohort of 632 claimants with work-related musculoskeletal injuries, Cox proportional hazard analyses were performed with RTW strategies measured 1 month after injury as predictors. Outcomes were 6-month self-reported work absence duration and time receiving wage replacement benefits from an administrative database.
Results: Work accommodation offer and acceptance and advice from health care provider (HCP) to the workplace on re-injury prevention were significant predictors of shorter work absence duration indexed by both self-report and administrative data. Receiving an ergonomic visit was a significant predictor of shorter duration receiving benefits only.
Conclusions: Analyses using administrative and self-reported indices of work absence generally converged. Work accommodation and targeted HCP communication with the workplace are critical for effective early RTW interventions.