The practical application of theory and research for preventing work disability: A new paradigm for occupational rehabilitation services in China?

Kátia M. Costa-Black, Shu Kei Cheng, Mankui Li, Patrick Loisel

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Theoretical frameworks for preventing work disability have evolved over the last decade and various experimental models have been tested in occupational rehabilitation settings. The successful application and uptake of the most recent research evidence in rehabilitation practices depend on a complex interplay of the decisions of multi-stakeholders, including their perceptions of the evidence, a proper regulatory framework for injury prevention, compensation and disability management; as well as the cultural and socioeconomic factors unique to each country (social context). This paper summarizes the scope of the work disability prevention field and describes the contextual barriers and support mechanisms for implementing evidence-based practices for disability prevention in China's national rehabilitation system. Methods: Expert opinions and relevant publications in the field were reasoned around key constructs of a translational model used to identify potential barriers and support platforms for research uptake in China. Results: A crucial component of experimental models for disability prevention is to promote well-coordinated return to work actions centred in the workplace. Potential barriers and support mechanisms for implementing this and other evidence-based recommendations in China are described. Conclusions: The complexity of implementing a system-wide disability prevention model in a country as large and diverse as China is well-recognized. Improved efforts are thus required for international knowledge-sharing that can empower greater research utilization of effective disability prevention methods in China. The development of well-connected communities of practice might be a helpful strategy for enhancing stakeholders' perceptions, attitudes and collaborative efforts towards locally relevant and cultural sensitive solutions to work disability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Implementation
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Translational model
  • Work disability prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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