Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Xu, Y.W., Chan, C. C., Lam, C. S., Li-Tsang, C. W., Lo-Hui, K. Y., & Gatchel, R. J. (2007). Rehabilitation of injured workers with chronic pain: A stage of change phenomenon. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 17 (4), 727-742.
Title:  Rehabilitation of injured workers with chronic pain: A stage of change phenomenon
Authors:  Xu, Y.W., Chan, C. C., Lam, C. S., Li-Tsang, C. W., Lo-Hui, K. Y., & Gatchel, R. J.
Year:  2007
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Cross-sectional

Structured abstract:

Background:  Work-related injuries incur direct and indirect losses to workers, industry, and society, as well as quality-of-life costs to the injured workers’ families. Direct costs include wages, disability settlements and pensions, assessment and treatment provided by the health care system,diagnostic examinations, hospitalizations, and surgery. Indirect costs include loss of work productivity from the injured workers, employers, and their families, training of replacement workers, lost tax revenues, and administrative expenses. Quality-of-life costs relate to the losses stemming from the chronic pain experienced by the injured workers and other psycho-social burdens on their families. To minimize these losses, the primary goals of rehabilitation have been to improve work capacity and achieve early return to work (RTW).
Purpose:  This study was designed to explore the stages of change involved in return to work (RTW) for a group of workers who had been suffering from chronic pain.
Setting:  The setting included Hong Kong Workers’ Health Center and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Study sample:  The study sample included 67 injured workers between the ages of 20 and 60.
Intervention:  The intervention was a 6 week return to work program divided into a three week rehabilitation/ readiness component and a three-week placement component.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  Assessments of the participants on various measures were conducted before and during the program, and at the end of the follow-up period (3 months post program).
Findings:  The overall RTW rate of the participants was 65.7%. Most importantly, the participants’ RTW outcomes were found to be signi?cantly predicted by their readiness for RTW (action) at the baseline. In the third week, their RTW was signi?cantly predicted by their con?dence in returning to work and their readiness for RTW (action). By the sixth week, their RTW outcomes were predicted by their readiness for RTW (pre-contemplation)
Conclusions:  The results enable us to better understand the stage-of-change factors that might in?uence injured workers’ resumption of a productive work role and the rehabilitation process of RTW.

Disabilities served:  Chronic pain
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Interventions:  Job search and placement assistance
Rehabilitation counseling
Vocational assessment
Outcomes:  Return to work