Interventions to Promote Work-Focused Care by Healthcare Providers for Individuals with Musculoskeletal Conditions: a Scoping Review

Yanfei Xie, Nathan Hutting, Serena Bartys, Venerina Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Building on an emerging body of evidence, this scoping review aimed to provide an overview of current interventions to promote work-focused care by healthcare providers for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions and to identify current knowledge gaps for future research.

Methods: Literature searches were performed in Pubmed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and PsycInfo using Medical Subject Heading terms and text words relating to musculoskeletal conditions, interventions to promote work-focused care and work-related outcomes. Articles involving any interventions with elements of work-focused care delivered by healthcare providers to manage musculoskeletal conditions were reviewed for suitability and inclusion.

Results: A total of 22 articles (18 intervention trials) were identified. Most studies were multidisciplinary interventions incorporating one or more elements of work-focused care including: work-related assessment to identify barriers to working, vocational advice/coaching or education to address barriers to working, involvement of the workplace stakeholders, restoration of fitness for work and regular communication with multidisciplinary team members. Most studies (61%) concluded that their interventions achieved the desired work-related outcomes although firm conclusions could not be made regarding the effectiveness of a particular component, content or strategy of work-focused care itself because of the variability in the type and number of elements and outcomes used.

Conclusions: There is good evidence demonstrating the potential for healthcare providers to improve work outcomes for those with musculoskeletal conditions. Additional training is required to increase confidence in this area of practice. Accepting that work-focused care is important, however, does not diminish the challenge it presents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-865
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Early online date2 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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