Mapping first‐line health care providers' roles, practices, and impacts on care for workers with compensable musculoskeletal disorders in four jurisdictions: A critical interpretive synthesis
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BACKGROUND: First-line health care providers are the primary access point for workers' benefits. However, little is known about their impact on quality of care and return-to-work. Our objective was to critically compare literature on the practices of first-line providers for workers with musculoskeletal injuries in Ontario and Quebec (Canada), Washington State (United States), and Victoria (Australia). METHODS: A critical interpretive synthesis of peer-reviewed scientific literature was conducted. The search across six databases yielded 59 relevant publications that were critically appraised. RESULTS: Three themes emerged: 1) how policies about first-line health care providers' modulate worker access to care, 2) how these providers' roles, practices, and training shape disability management, and 3) how the quality of care and disability outcomes are evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: First-line health care providers have a critical influence on workers' trajectories of care. A focus on their role while taking the complexity of the context into account will help orient future policy changes.
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