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O5A.1 Definition of case management for return-to-work in the approach of workers with musculoskeletal disorders: an update using a scoping review
  1. Mercè Soler Font1,2,3,
  2. José Maria Ramada Rodilla1,2,3,
  3. José Maria Gonzalez4,5,6,
  4. Francisco Palencia Sanchez7,8,
  5. Consol Serra Pujadas1,2,3
  1. 1Center for Research in Occupational Health, Department of Experimental and Health Sciences University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Public Health and Preventive Medicine Training Unit, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  6. 6University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  7. 7Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Doctorado Interfacultades en Salud Pública, Bogotá, Colombia
  8. 8Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Medicina Preventiva y Social, Bogotá, Colombia


Purpose We aim to identify the elements and functions that define the case management in the individual approach of workers with musculoskeletal disorders for return to work and to propose an updated definition.

Methods Relevant articles were identified through a computerized search up to 1 December 2017 in the bibliographic databases PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library, IBECS, EMBASE, and LILACS. Language filter (English and Spanish) was included in the search. The inclusion criteria were working age population with musculoskeletal disorders, studies that described or evaluated case management interventions, and return to work interventions. Military personnel, and rheumatic and surgical pathologies were excluded. Independent pairs reviewed all cites and articles and extracted data, and narrative synthesis was carried out.

Results Our searches identified 1950 possible relevant articles, of which 27 were included for data extraction. Of these, 15 papers included definitions of case management, and 14 common elements were identified. Twenty two explained the role of case manager and in 18 a description of tasks was found. In 25 articles referral services were mentioned. The most common defining elements were ‘return to work intervention’, ‘multidisciplinary assessment’ and ‘interdisciplinary intervention’ (53.8%). The 40% of the articles emphasized the ’coordination’, ‘to influence multiple factors’ (33.3%) and ‘individual approach’ (26.7%). The tasks included ’to establish goals and plan the rehabilitation for return to work’ (50%), and ’supervise or coordinate return to work process and to offer/refer the employee to services/adaptations or therapeutic workplaces’ (36.4%) The most common offered services were mental health (64.0%), and rehabilitation (48.0%).

Conclusions Despite the increase in the number of published articles dealing with case management, usually it is not clearly defined. This scoping review emphasizes the need to define case management and its organizational characteristics, and proposes an extended and updated definition.

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