Return to Work for Mental Ill-Health: A Scoping Review Exploring the Impact and Role of Return-to-Work Coordinators Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • AbstractPurpose This scoping review was completed to explore the role and impact of having a return-to-work (RTW) coordinator when dealing with individuals with common mental ill-health conditions. Methods Peer reviewed articles published in English between 2000 and 2018 were considered. Our research team reviewed all articles to determine if an analytic focus on RTW coordinator and mental ill-health was present; consensus on inclusion was reached for all articles. Data were extracted for all relevant articles and synthesized for outcomes of interest. Results Our search of six databases yielded 1798 unique articles; 5 articles were found to be relevant. The searched yielded only quantitative studies. Of those, we found that studies grouped mental ill-health conditions together, did not consider quality of life, and used different titles to describe RTW coordinators. Included articles described roles of RTW coordinators but did not include information on their strategies and actions. Included articles suggest that RTW interventions for mental ill-health that utilize a RTW coordinator may result in delayed time to RTW. Conclusions Our limited findings suggest that interventions for mental ill-health that employ RTW coordinators may be more time consuming than conventional approaches and may not increase RTW rate or worker’s self-efficacy for RTW. Research on this topic with long-term outcomes and varied research designs (including qualitative) is needed, as well as studies that clearly define RTW coordinator roles and strategies, delineate results by mental health condition, and address the impact of RTW coordinators on workers’ quality of life.


  • MacEachen, E
  • McDonald, E
  • Neiterman, Elena
  • McKnight, E
  • Malachowski, C
  • Crouch, M
  • Varatharajan, S
  • Dali, N
  • Giau, E

publication date

  • September 2020