Presentation M P14

M P14 (Poster Presentation):
CBI Health-IWH study on prognosis of work related LBP

Presented by: Ivan Andreas Steenstra


Steenstra IA1, D'Elia T1, Hogg-Johnson S1, Furlan A1, McIntosh G2, Amick III B1, MacDonald S1

  1. Institute for Work & Health
  2. CBI Health
  3. Departments of Anesthesia and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Mc Masters University



Low back pain costs in Canada are estimated at 11 to 23 billion dollars. Most costs are caused by productivity losses and compensation. Some of the costs and suffering can be diminished by identifying those at high risk. Workers that are at low risk will most likely return to function and work with limited assistance. Those at high risk might benefit from early or more intensive intervention. If a worker hurts his/her back at work, many people want to know how long it will take before returning to work. The worker wants to know because a prolonged recovery period may lead to insecurity and anxiety and have financial consequences. The workplace wants to know whether it should make alternate work arrangements. The workers' compensation organization and health care provider want to know, to guide intervention decisions for early and safe return to work (RTW). This four-year study, funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) aims to build easy to use prediction rules for factors that best predict important outcomes for injured workers who enter a rehabilitation program aimed at improving function and RTW.


This cohort study will recruit 750 patients with follow-up over 12 months. Recruitment has started in the summer of 2014. Data will be collected from different sources. First, routinely collected information from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will be reviewed. From a systematic review, information that was found to be predictive for early RTW are: functional status, pain rating, yellow flags, RTW program, and recovery expectations. Next, we will add clinical data collected by the healthcare provider and data on different worker relevant outcomes specifically collected for this study: return to productivity, functional status, job satisfaction, successful RTW and recurrences. Outcomes will be measured using a variety of questionnaires, and will be administered over a 2-year follow up period.


At the time of the conference we hope to have recruited 100 workers into our study. The final product will be easy to use prediction rules. Results from our pilot study were used to select the final questionnaires in this study.


Stakeholder groups are involved over the course of the study. The final product will be easy to use prediction rules. These tools will be of interest to injured workers, workers’ compensation board professionals, rehabilitation professionals, employers and researchers.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Determinants of RTW