Content » Vol 49, Issue 6

Original report

Factors related to successful return to work following multidisciplinary rehabilitation

Halimah Awang, Lih Yoong Tan, Norma Mansor, Phattrawan Tongkumchum, Mayuening Eso
Social Security Research Centre, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2233


Objective: To examine factors associated with successful return to work among participants in a Social Security Organisation Return To Work programme.
Methods: Secondary data for 9,850 participants were obtained from the Social Security Organisation Return To Work database. The dependent variable was the Return To Work programme outcome, successful return to employment (same employer or different employer) or unsuccessful return. Logistic regression analysis with weighted sum contrasts was performed to assess the odds ratios with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for successful return to employment across the various subgroups of participants.
Results: Overall, 65. 5% of participants successfully returned to employment, either with their former employers or with new employers. Successful return to employment was found to be significantly higher than the overall proportion among those participants who had had commuting accidents, followed by those who had had workplace accidents. Successful return to employment was also associated with injuries of the upper and lower limbs, employers who were interested in hiring disabled workers, motivation to participate in the programme, an intervention period of 3 months or less, age 29 years or younger, and male participants.
Conclusion: A structured multidisciplinary intervention programme provides a positive outcome in terms of returning to work. Related factors have various impacts on successful return to work.

Lay Abstract

This study examined the possibility of injured workers returning to work following a rehabilitation programme. The results showed that approximately 65% of participants returned to work successfully, either with their former employer or with a new employer. Males, younger participants, those with upper- or lower-limb injuries, and those whose rehabilitation period was within 3 months had a better chance of returning to work.


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