RTW Knowledge Base
RTW Knowledge Base
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Advising patients about work: GPs are in a unique position to provide patients with evidence-based advice about work. (UK Department of health)
A concise summary of the most important evidence-based advice GPs can offer to ill, injured or impaired workers.
Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed (ACOEM)
A report providing guidelines for practitioners and recommendations on the RTW process. 

Online physician education and training services to prevent work disability
A US internet-based accredited medical education (CME) for physicians and other clinicians on the topic of disability prevention.
Is work good for your health and well being?
A pdf download of the major UK evidence review of work and health.
Is work good for your health and wellbeing? (Professors Waddell and Burton, provided by British Medical Association)
Summary PowerPoint presentation from the UK major review of the evidence on health and work.
Injury / Illness and Return to Work / Function
A Practical Guide for Physicians (The Physician Education Project in Workplace Health- PEPWH) Includes sections on the physician’s role, communication guidelines, factors effecting outcomes and the return to work function plan.
An occupational physician answers questions on return to work
Advice for people with an illness, injury or impairment.
An occupational physician describes the difficulty of work capacity assessment
The lack of research on the setting of work restrictions makes evidence-based decisions almost impossible. Some suggestions on how to proceed in this environment.
Reducing disability days: Healing more than injury (US)
A comprehensive article about return to work, its importance, and what can go wrong.
Concepts of rehabilitation for the management of common health problems
A review of rehabilitation approaches for all of those involved with return to work.
What works at work? (Institute for employment studies - UK government)
A review of the evidence on the effectiveness of workplace interventions for common health problems.

Managing Acute Pain - A guide for patients (Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists)
Discusses the importance of proper pain management and the pros and cons of the different types of pain treatments.
Disability Lifestyles - Ways of coping (Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine - University of Queensland)
Information to help patients come to terms with a disability. The information is written for severe injuis but is relevant for many conditions. 
The Pain and Disability Prevention Program (US)
A training program for community based psychologists to help people manage disability due to persistent pain conditions.
Action on pain! (UK)
Information about chronic pain, how to manage it, and how to raise awareness of the problem. 
American Chronic Pain Association
Support and resources for people living with long term pain
Arthritis Australia
Arthritis Australia provides brochures, fact sheets and resources on various conditions and treatments.
Chronic Pain Management – Overcoming anxiety, depression and anger (Anxiety Treatment Australia)
Discusses the effect chronic pain can have on a person and techniques to overcome them.
An interactive program that helps patients learn to manage their thoughts and feelings to improve their health and well-being.
Weight Watchers Science Centre
This site features articles on maintaining a healthy weight from the physical to the psychological factors and news on scientific findings. Helps people avoid weight gain that often occurs after injury. 

Management of upper limb disorders and the biopsychosocial model (UK government health and safety executive)
A review of management strategies for work-relevant upper limb disorders, taking into account the physical and psychosocial aspects of managing the condition.

Whiplash injury recovery - A self management guide
A booklet that aims to assist persons with a whiplash injury on the road to recovery.
Back in work - managing back pain in the workplace (UK Health and Safety Executive)
How to manage back pain at work, especially in small business. A booklet for employees and employers.

Indahl interview on back pain
World leading researcher talks about the advice he gives back pain patients.  Quicktime is needed to view this 20 minute video.  Click on the link provided if you need to download Quicktime.

Clinical frameworks for caring for people with a work related condition:
Clinical framework for the delivery of health services to injured workers (Victorian WorkCover authority)
Guiding principles for the provision of health services to workers with a work related condition.
Clinical framework for the delivery of psychology services to injured workers (Victorian WorkCover authority)
Guiding principles for the provision of psychological health services to workers with a work related condition.
Communicating with patients: Advice for Medical Practitioners (National Health and Medical Research Council)
Discusses the impact of good communication and overcoming obstacles that lead to poor communication.

Reviews and guidelines for return to work: 
Facilitators and Barriers to Return to Work: A Literature Review
LaTrobe University review of research on what helps and hinders return to work
Introduction to ACOEM’s New Work Disability Prevention Guideline: “Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed”
A background and introduction to the college guideline from Jennifer Christian, MD, MPH
Preventing injury, illness and disability at work: what works and how do we know? (Canadian institute for work and health)
Information on preventing injury, illness and disability, with a focus on ergonomic, psychosocial and work-organisational factors.
Return to Work is good medicine (Canada - WorkSafe BC)
Concise background information on return to work, the important issues to consider, and some contact points for further information.
Helping patients return to work (Canadian Medical Association)
Information on the context in which return to work commonly occurs, and the development of the CMA return to work policy.
Treat (WorkCover South Australia)
A resource providing best practice information on workers compensation, the acute/subacute phase of soft tissue injuries, and the prevention of chronic injuries. 
Ontario Medical Association position in support of timely return to work programs and the role of the primary care physician.
A position paper endorsing the importance of return to work programs and identifying the importance of the treating practitioner in return to work management.
Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed (ACOEM)
The importance of the stay at work/return to work process in preventing disability.

Reviews and guidelines for back pain:
Occupational Health Guidelines for the Management of Low Back Pain
UK guidelines that focus on back pain and work
Guide to Assessing Psychosocial Yellow Flags in Acute Low Back Pain: Risk Factors for Long-Term Disability and Work Loss
New Zealand guide to a 'whole person' approach for people with back pain. Can also be used as a framework for other musculoskeletal conditions.
Low Back Pain: guidelines for its management (European Commission Research Directorate General)
The major European evidence based guidelines for back pain. The first guideline to focus on prevention of back pain.
Nonspecific Low Back Pain and Return to Work (American Academy of Family Physicians)
Deals with the management of low back pain and determining a patient’s safe return to work for general practitioners.

Reviews and guidelines for other musculoskeletal and joint conditions:
Improved evidence-based management of acute musculoskeletal pain
Introduction to and summary of NHMRC guidelines on acute musculoskeletal pain.
Evidence-based Management of Acute Musculoskeletal Pain (National Health and Medical Research Council - Aust)
This guide for clinicians provides information on the management of acute pain, communication between clinicians and consumers, and the diagnosis, prognosis and interventions for acute musculoskeletal pain.
In Practice (Arthritis Research Campaign UK)
A series of concise articles providing practical advice to General Practitioners and hospital doctors on the diagnosis and management of rheumatic conditions.
The management of soft tissue knee injuries: internal derangements (Accident Compensation Corporation - New Zealand)
Practice guidelines for doctors, covering diagnosis, use of X-ray, management, referral, rehabilitation, and post operative management.
The diagnosis and management of soft tissue shoulder injuries and related disorders (Accident Compensation Corporation - New Zealand)
Best practice evidence-based guideline for shoulder problems.

Reviews and guidelines for management of pain:
Managing Acute Pain – Scientific Evidence (Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists)
A compilation of the highest levels of evidence available relevant to acute pain management.
Acute pain management: scientific evidence (National Health and Medical Research Council - Australia)
A summary of current evidence of health professionals.
Interventional Pain Management (Accident Compensation Corporation - New Zealand)
Evidence based recommendations for patients and practitioners on the management of persistent pain.
The use of oral opioids in patients with chronic nonmalignant pain: management strategies (Australian Pain Society)
Information for doctors on the prescription of oral opioids for patients with chronic nonmalignant pain.
Pain Terminology (International Association for the Study of Pain)
A glossary of terms relating to pain.
Faculty of Pain Medicine (Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists)
A collection of educational documents on pain and its management.

The Australian Medical Association position statement on physical activity
A statement on the importance and health effects of physical activity.
Choose health: be active (Australian Government - Department of health and ageing)
A physical activity guide for older people.
Fit for Work - Exercises for the office (New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Occupational Health Physiotherapy Group)
Exercises patients can do in the office.
Encouraging physical activity: five steps for GPs
A guide for general practitioners on the promotion of physical activity, and the resources that can help them incorporate promotion into their daily practice.

Outcome measures (TAC)
Diagnostic tools and/or systems to measure performance, ability or function of patients.

Ergonomics (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)
Detailed information on workplace ergonomics.
Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - US)
Information, scientific literature and guidelines for management of ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders.

Beyond Blue – The National Depression Initiative (Australia)
Information on symptoms of depression and anxiety and where to get help. 
Depression in the workplace program background kit download (BeyondBlue )
Information on BeyondBlue’s program for raising awareness of depression in the workplace.
The WORC Project – Valuing Employee Health (University of Queensland)
This project aims at identifying employees with symptoms of depression and encouraging them to seek advice from a mental health professional.

Questions are the answer: Get more involved in your health care (US Department of health & human services)
A good site to mention to your patients, it gives them tips on how to get the most out of their health care, including preparing for appointments, building their own list of questions to ask and tips on preventing medical errors. 
eOrthopod (Medical MultiMedia Group)
Resources to help your patients.  Clear, accurate, understandable information about orthopedic conditions. Includes patient guides and FAQ’s.
A free interactive program that lets patients explore the way thoughts and emotions arise, and suggests strategies for managing those that are unhelpful.
Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) (MyDr)
Search tool for all consumer information available on medications including side effects.
Information about "adaptive technology," which makes computers accessible to patients with disabilities.

Cochrane collection of occupation health information
The International Disability Management Standards Council
A leading international organisation focused on disability management.
The Institute for Work & Health (Canada)
This organisation provides research information on injury prevention, return to work, clinical practice and compensation. 
The Work Foundation (UK)
A not-for-profit organisation that brings all sides of working organisations together to find the best ways of improving both economic performance and quality of working life.
Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability
Improving patient outcomes: Moving research into practice.
National Institute of Disability Management and Research (Canada)
An education, training and research organization with the primary focus on the implementation of work-place based reintegration programs developed from international research.
A glossary of terms relating to epidemiology, clinical trials, statistics and health economics