Operationalizing a shared decision making model for work rehabilitation programs: A consensus process

Abstract: Purpose: The objective of this study was to design and operationalize shared decision making (SDM) rehabilitation model for worker rehabilitation programs. SDM has previously been shown to improve decision outcomes in patient-health care professional relationships. To date, SDM has not yet been adapted to work rehabilitation, although it could be a valuable approach to better understand and agree on return-to-work decisions. Methods: We designed a preliminary model for return-to-work decisions for workers suffering from pain due to musculoskeletal injuries. We submitted the preliminary model and a questionnaire to expert health care professionals. Using the Technique for Research of Information by Animation of a Group of Experts method, a group consensus process was used to discuss and refine the experts’ responses to operationalize a model adapted for rehabilitation. Results: Eleven occupational therapists (three were clinical coordinators) and four psychologists participated in three group consensus sessions. The final version of the model included one general longitudinal objective (the maintenance of a working alliance and assuring mutual comprehension among all stakeholders), and 11 specific objectives: establishing a working alliance, seven in the deliberation phase of the SDM process, and three in the implementation of the decision. Participants also reached consensus on between 1 and 8 indicators per objective. Conclusion: We developed and operationalized an SDM rehabilitation model intended for a return-to-work implementation plan. The next step will be to document its feasibility among the main stakeholders (employer, union, insurer and worker) taking part in decisions about return to work.

DOI: http://10.1007/s10926-014-9532-7


Marie-France Coutu, Marie-José Durand, France Légaré, Marc Corbière, Dawn Stacey Bainbridge, Marie-Élise Labrecque


janvier 2015


Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation