Presentation T P8

T P8 (Poster Presentation):
An ecological framework to elaborate return to work information development and exchange

Presented by: Ripdaman Singh


O'Hagan F1, Steenstra I2

  1. Trent University, Peterborough, Canada
  2. Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Canada



Communication is critical for return to work service planning and delivery, exchanging information between stakeholders and promoting a shared understanding of perspectives between parties. Information development and exchange and return to work decision making are deliberative tasks requiring high order reasoning and occurring in a multi-stakeholder, multi-system environment that may enable and constrain information development and exchange. Research to date has been quantitatively and qualitatively descriptive. An explanatory framework for information development and communication would enable research and practice. Our goal in this presentation is to introduce an ecological psychology framework to conceptually articulate information development and communication practices among stakeholders.


We use data from focus groups and interviews with physiotherapists (7), chiropractors (2) concerning their practices and perspectives on information and communication during work reintegration to elaborate an ecological perspective on return to work communication. Following data collection and analysis, ecological psychology (EP) was identified as a practical framework for conceptualizing information development and exchange. EP posits that conscious human activity involves the dyadic interaction of agents and environments, intention and attention, effectivities and affordances in a systemic fashion.


As agents, participants in this study recognized the inextricable link between their actions and those of other stakeholders in the system and the environment itself. The demands and constraints placed on them by the compensation system shaped their decision-making and actions. As self-perceived work reintegration "facilitators", participants were motivated to provide detailed, usable information. Their clinical attention was directed toward relevant objective and subjective information. Specific assessment skills and inferential abilities were enabled by the physical and practice environment of physical medicine practice.


EP provides a conceptual purchase on the process of deliberative thought and action taking place during information development and exchange. EP can be used to guide research and interventions to understand and improve

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Social issues