Musculoskeletal disorders and comorbid depression: Implications for practice

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Lloyd, Chris
Waghorn, Geoff
McHugh, Cate
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2008
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Background: The physical demands of work have a substantial impact on the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Depression is often associated with work-related injuries and may influence a person's success or otherwise return to work. There is pressure for occupational rehabilitation providers to produce good return-to-work outcomes in a timely and financially responsible manner. The aim was to examine current evidence for any added impact of depression on return-to-work prospects among people with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Methods: A review of the literature was conducted to determine the extent to which depression comorbid with musculoskeletal disorders affected labour force participation and the outcomes obtained in occupational rehabilitation. Results: Australian population level data show that people of working age with depression comorbid with musculoskeletal disorders have extensive labour force disadvantage and reduced return-to-work outcomes when participating in occupational rehabilitation. Conclusions: Although more research is needed, there is already sufficient evidence to support the introduction of systems and practices to detect and integrate treatment for comorbid depression in order to prevent occupational rehabilitation failure.

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Australian Occupational Therapy Journal

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55

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1

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© 2008 Australian Association of Occupational Therapists. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

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Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified

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Public Health and Health Services

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