What leads to the expectation to return to work? Insights from a theory of planned behavior (TPB) model of future work outcomes

Debra A. Dunstan*, Tanya Covic, Graham A. Tyson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study used a Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to identify the factors influencing the future work expectations and outcomes of employees with a musculoskeletal injury.

PARTICIPANTS: Australians with a compensable work injury (N = 174), mean age = 43.7 years, 53.2% male, 48.3% back injury, and 34.2% unskilled.

METHODS: A TPB model of the target behavior 'working, or continuing to work...three months from now' was constructed. A questionnaire measuring the model's components was completed at baseline and three-months follow-up.

RESULTS: The model met standard psychometric requirements. Attitude, Subjective Norm and Perceived Behavioral Control explained 76% of the variance in Behavioral Intention (R-2 = 0.76, p <0.001). Behavioral Intention (the expectation to return to work) explained 51% of the variance in work participation at follow-up (Nagelkerke R-2 = 0.51, p <0.001; sensitivity = 86.4%, specificity = 71.2%). The strength of key influences on expectations varied according to employment status, but included the availability of modified duties, social aspects of work, the opinion of the treating doctor, co-worker support, pain, and functional limitations.

CONCLUSION: The TPG is a useful model and conceptual framework for integrating the biopsychosocial determinants of return to work (RTW) and identifying the influences on future work expectations and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalWork
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Work disability
  • modified work
  • co-worker support
  • LOW-BACK-PAIN
  • TERM SICKNESS ABSENCE
  • RECOVERY EXPECTATIONS
  • PREDICT OUTCOMES
  • TO-WORK
  • INJURY
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • DETERMINANTS
  • DISABILITY
  • REHABILITATION

Cite this