Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2013 Budget: Funding Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title: A Review of the Role of Aging in Return to Work and Stay at Work (IWH Project 3165)
Category: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Subcategory: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Keywords: older workers (aging), work disability, occupational health and safety
Link to research website:


A number of reviews show the benefits of work participation and the importance of ‘good work’ to health and well being. However, negative impacts of aging on work are also reported. Older workers are also more likely to return to work following an injury. The established consensus of work being a positive experience for individuals has encouraged clinicians and policy-makers to focus on improving work participation through preventing an early end to work—that is, before the standard retirement age—and encouraging return to work. This project will synthesize the literature on return to work in older workers to identify factors that would help these workers to maintain employment, avoid re-injuries and successfully return to work.


• To summarize the effectiveness of interventions for older injured workers to successfully return to work.
• To summarize the factors which play a role for older injured workers to successfully return to work to further invention development.

Anticipated Results:

The results of this work will be relevant to policymakers, work disability prevention specialists, employers, employees, and clinicians. Partners in this project include the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Manitoba, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, ergonomists, chiropractors, and disability managers. Stakeholders also include injured workers and injured workers organizations, such as the Injured Workers Consultants and the Ontario Network of injured Workers.


Ivan Steenstra, Dorcas Beaton, Kim Cullen, Monique Gignac, Emma Irvin, Dwayne Van Eerd, G McIntosh, G Pransky, M Puts, R Wilkie