What evidence exists for work-related injury prevention and management? Analysis of an occupational therapy evidence database (OTseeker)

Annie McCluskey*, Meryl Lovarini, Sally Bennett, Kryss McKenna, Leigh Tooth, Tammy Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to summarise the quantity and quality of research contained in an online evidence database (OTseeker) in one practice area, work-related injury prevention and management, to highlight the available evidence. In May 2004, the systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) contained in Otseeker were analysed. The number and proportion of systematic reviews and RCTs and the number and proportion of RCTs meeting each of the 10 criteria on the PEDro scale (partitioned) were calculated and the topics and conclusions of the systematic reviews were summarised. Of the 2330 records contained in OTseeker, 346 (14.8%) related to work-related injury prevention and management (86 systematic reviews and 260 RCTs). Of the 260 RCTs, the majority (n = 140, 53.8%) scored between 3/8 and 5/8 for internal validity on the PEDro scale (partitioned); a few scored 6/8 or more (n = 13, 5.0%). The majority of the RCTs scored 2/2 for the reporting of results (n = 217, 83.5%). Evidence was identified, mostly for the treatment of low back pain, to support the use of multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation including workplace visits, back schools, workplace exercise, and advice to stay active and/or return to normal activities. OTseeker contains a substantial body of research on the effectiveness of work-related injury prevention and management, although this research is of varying methodological quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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