Workplace Intervention Research: Disability Prevention, Disability Management, and Work Productivity

  • Marc I. WhiteEmail author
  • Shannon L. Wagner
  • Kelly Williams-Whitt
  • Corinne V. Koehn
  • Douglas Kube
  • Marisa Cornacchia
  • Orion Wärje
Part of the Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability book series (SHHDW, volume 1)


In this chapter, we review the state of research and practice in workplace interventions, addressing the continuum of disability prevention and management. We begin by highlighting the importance of intervention research. This is followed by a discussion of the gap that exists between research and workplace practice. We argue that to create change and increase utilization of the best evidence in disability management practice, it is necessary to develop effective communication tools that encourage information sharing among stakeholders in a complex system. In an initial step toward closing the research-to-practice gap, we then summarize the results of two recent stakeholder-centered, best-evidence syntheses. The first synthesis identifies modifiable worker and workplace factors that increase the risk of work absence across health conditions. The second synthesis assesses the state of research on interventions that target the risk factors identified in the first synthesis. The quality and results of the intervention research are summarized to help employers determine which interventions are most likely to decrease absence, improve performance, or show some financial benefit. We conclude with recommendations to enhance the relevance and utilization of research evidence to inform policy, training, and practice.


Sickness Absence Mental Health Intervention Work Absence Supervisory Support Workplace Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc I. White
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shannon L. Wagner
    • 2
  • Kelly Williams-Whitt
    • 3
  • Corinne V. Koehn
    • 4
  • Douglas Kube
    • 5
  • Marisa Cornacchia
    • 6
  • Orion Wärje
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and DisabilityVancouverCanada
  2. 2.University of Northern British ColumbiaSchool of Health SciencesPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Management, Graduate ProgramUniversity of LethbridgeCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.University of Northern British ColumbiaCounselling Specialization, School of EducationPrince GeorgeCanada
  5. 5.Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and DisabilityRichmond HillCanada
  6. 6.Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and DisabilityTorontoCanada

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