Special Issue "Return to Work and Occupational Health Services"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020
Dr. Evangelos C. Alexopoulos
Metopolitan General Hospital, Occupational Health Dpt., 264 Mesogion Avenue, 155 62 Holargos, Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: occupational health; occupational medicine; exposure assessment; public health; environmental epidemiology; environmental health; employee well-being; preventive medicine
When aging, an impairment, or an illness affect the ability of a person to maintain, enter, or return to work (RTW), a complex process is activated in the personal, family, employer, welfare and insurance system, and state levels in which the disincentives and barriers (unmet needs, ineffective policies and strategies, inadequate evidence) prevail. Commonly, the employer is reluctant to allocate resources to accommodate work, when in most cases it is not clear what has to be done. On the other hand, the employer has an ethical and legal duty to control work-related risks to prevent work-related illness and accident. Specifically, the efforts to control work-related stress would influence the sustainable RTW behavior of workers, entering and maintaining a job by disabled persons, and in general employee well-being and engagement.
Occupational health services (OHS) could facilitate and optimize employability by monitoring and evaluating the recovery process; determining the relevant to work residual abilities; managing expectations; advising work arrangements and adaptations; and informing and raising the awareness of co-workers and managers. However, OHS are underutilized and their potential impact remains largely understudied. In this issue, we wish to shed light on the factors that influence OHS effectiveness, considering individual-tailored strategies, disease-related disability, the job context (demands, flexibility, organizational and psychosocial characteristics), unionization, the welfare system, other economic and social incentives or disincentives, and the availability of OHS. The future and retrospective utilization of studies using the demand-control-support model, effort–reward imbalance, job demands–resources, and other models of occupational stress on RTW and employability are highly welcomed. Of specific interest are the processes and work modification options on “subjectively disabled” symptoms in a nonflexible job context (e.g., factors that influence the RTW of nurses with musculoskeletal disorders).
Dr. Evangelos C. Alexopoulos
Manuscript Submission Information
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- return to work
- sick leave
- work reintegration
- work inclusion
- disability insurance
- social security
- health capital
- labor force participation
- occupational physician
- demand–control–support model
- job demands–resources model