Work-Focused Health Care: The Role of Physical Therapists

Article


Hutting, Nathan, Boucaut, Rose, Gross, Douglas P, Heerkens, Yvonne F Heerkens, Johnston, Venerina, Skamagki, Glykeria and Stigmar, Kjerstin. 2020. "Work-Focused Health Care: The Role of Physical Therapists." Physical Therapy. 100 (12), pp. 2231-2236. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzaa166
Article Title

Work-Focused Health Care: The Role of Physical Therapists

ERA Journal ID16761
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHutting, Nathan, Boucaut, Rose, Gross, Douglas P, Heerkens, Yvonne F Heerkens, Johnston, Venerina, Skamagki, Glykeria and Stigmar, Kjerstin
Journal TitlePhysical Therapy
Journal Citation100 (12), pp. 2231-2236
Number of Pages6
YearDec 2020
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0031-9023
1538-6724
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzaa166
Web Address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/100/12/2231/5905254
Abstract

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are characterized by pain and reduced physical functioning that often results in decreased quality of life. Work-related MSDs are health problems in which working conditions (ie, physically demanding or repetitive activities or a poor work environment) significantly contribute to the onset or progression of the disorder but are not necessarily the sole cause. Even if work-related environmental factors do not directly cause MSDs, the symptoms can be work relevant (ie, the work can influence the symptoms, or the symptoms can affect the ability to work). Work-related MSDs are burdensome to patients, employers, and society, as they are associated with high rates of disability, absenteeism, presenteeism, loss of productivity, longer recovery timeframes, and workers’ compensation costs. In this Point of View, we argue that physical therapists treating patients with MSDs should adopt a work-focused approach. There is ample evidence showing that being employed is associated with better health.1 Physical therapists can improve the health-related quality of life for patients with MSDs through adopting a work-focused approach and promoting participation in work.

KeywordsWork-focused Health Care; Occupational Health; Musculoskeletal Disorders; Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders; Physical Therapy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420106. Physiotherapy
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Byline AffiliationsHAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
University of South Australia
University of Alberta, Canada
University of Queensland
Coventry University, United Kingdom
Lund University, Sweden
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