The variations in return to work outcomes for ill or injured persons experiencing health leaves are complex. However, it is important to comprehend these variations in order to develop evidenced-based practice in work rehabilitation. Currently, a plethora of studies exist in the literature that have attempted to explain the variations in work outcomes. A 20-year review of the literature on work outcomes has revealed several limitations in using this knowledge in occupational therapy. The study of return to work outcomes is, for the most part, atheoretical and the knowledge base is fragmented and disorganized. In addition, the literature does not reflect a consistent understanding of the multidimensional nature of either work disability or the facilitators for return to work. In this paper, the Occupational Competence Model is presented as a framework for filling this gap. This model is used here to organize and synthesize the factors previously studied on work outcomes to foster an understanding of this literature from an occupational therapy perspective and the future study of work outcomes and work rehabilitation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/drlynn/23/