Descriptive Epidemiology of Gradual Return to Work for Workers With a Work-Acquired Musculoskeletal Disorder in British Columbia, Canada

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Feb;62(2):113-123. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001768.


Objective: This study investigates the injury, socio-demographic, workplace, and temporal characteristics related with gradual return to work (RTW) among workers with a work-acquired musculoskeletal disorder in British Columbia, Canada.

Methods: Accepted workers' compensation lost-time claims were extracted between 2010 and 2015 (n = 141,490). A multivariable logistic regression model was used to analyze the determinants of Gradual RTW.

Results: Within 1 year after injury, 41.0% of workers had at least 1 day of Gradual RTW. Serious injury severity, female sex, increasing age, wage, and firm size, longer sickness absence, and recent previous claims increased the proportion of workers being provided with Gradual RTW.

Conclusion: Consideration of injury, socio-demographic, workplace, and temporal variability in the provision of Gradual RTW can identify inequalities in the provision and increase effective use of Gradual RTW for workers with musculoskeletal disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology
  • Return to Work*
  • Sick Leave
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Workplace