Background: A challenge facing stakeholders is the identification and translation of relevant high quality research to inform policy and practice. This study engaged academic and community stakeholders in conducting a best evidence-synthesis to enhance knowledge use.
Objectives: To identify modifiable workplace disability risk and protective factors across common health conditions impacting work-related absence.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINHAL, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, BusinessSourceComplete, and ABI/Inform from 2000 to 2011. Systematic reviews that employed quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods of work-focused population were considered for inclusion. Two or more independent reviewers reviewed titles only, titles and abstracts, and/or full articles when assessing eligibility for inclusion. Selected articles underwent methodological screening.
Results: The search strategy, expert input and grey literature identified 2,467 unique records from which 142 full text articles underwent comprehensive review. Twenty-seven systematic reviews met eligibility criteria. Modifiable work factors found to have consistent evidence across two or more health conditions included lack of social support, increased physical demands at work, job strain, lack of supervisory support, increased psychological demands, low job satisfaction, low worker control of job, and poor leadership quality.
Conclusions: The active engagement of stakeholders led to greater understanding of relevance of the study findings for community stakeholders and appreciation of the mutual benefits of collaboration.