Understanding Work Disability Systems and Intervening Upstream

  • Ellen MacEachen


This chapter identifies ways that research on the mechanisms of work disability prevention systems can support the conceptualization of complex causal pathways between work and disability. Such research involves studies of key policies, such as early return to work, and their logic and substance, how implementation occurs, and how actual practice matches up to policy logic and ideals. Examples are provided of system mechanisms research and how these challenge the boundaries of work disability conceptualization. Although system-level interventions are not simple, and can be beyond the scope of researchers, they have the potential to make a positive impact on large numbers of workers. The design and implementation of work reintegration policy and programs, which are increasingly prominent internationally, can be furthered by research evidence that considers the interaction of individual, organizational and system level components.


Occupational Health Work Disability Injured Worker Compensation Claim Work Injury 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Work & HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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