Making the best of RTW interventions

Multi-faceted programs that package together different components have their advantages
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/17/2017

By the time an employee with an injury or health condition calls up Janet Marlin, chances are he has been off work for a long time. The person may be experiencing chronic pain — such as low-back pain, migraine or irritable bowel syndrome — or chronic mental health conditions such as depressed mood or anxiety.

As head of a Burlington, Ont.-based practice, Marlin has worked for nearly 30 years helping these individuals recover their function. She has long believed the most effective approaches are those that bring together different parties to support the injured worker.

At her practice, a kinesiologist or cognitive behavioural therapist working on a client’s file would typically obtain consent to contact the client’s health-care provider, describe the services being offered and ask for feedback. The clinician would also contact the client’s employer and the case manager to get input on a graduated return-to-work (RTW) plan  the client has taken a lead role in developing.