Implementing the work disability prevention paradigm among therapists in Hong Kong: Facilitators and barriers

Grace P Y Szeto, Shu Kei Cheng, Edwin W C Lee, Eva Schonstein, Douglas P. Gross

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction This is a discussion paper to examine the issues surrounding management of work-related injuries by physiotherapists and occupational therapists in Hong Kong. Therapists working in public hospitals are faced with managing injured workers with limited resources and this frequently results in suboptimal outcomes. Methods In this paper, five experienced therapists critically reviewed the current practices in the physiotherapy and occupational therapy professions in Hong Kong, with regard to managing patients with work injuries. In many hospitals, therapists still practice with a disease-based model focusing on symptom relief and restoration of general physical function. We collated information about current programs initiated by physiotherapists and occupational therapists to provide more strategic intervention strategies for early screening of high-risk patients and adaptive biopsychosocial interventions targeting return-to-work outcomes. Clinical and system-level barriers and facilitators of a major paradigm shift towards work disability prevention are discussed. Conclusion Physiotherapists and occupational therapists need to develop more strategic collaborations and actively voice out the need for major systematic changes within the local healthcare system, in order to provide a more effective management approach in line with the concept of Work Disability Prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Disability prevention
  • Occupational rehabilitation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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