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When occupational rehabilitation professionals consider when an employee should return to work they tend to emphasize the ability of a worker to perform tasks associated with their jobs.

Workers returning to their job after an injury are more likely to quit or be fired if their job requires more hours than the traditional 40-hour week. Allard Dembe, associate professor and chair of health services management and policy, Ohio State, found that injured employees working an extended week are 70% more likely to quit and 81% more likely to be fired than those with a conventional work schedule.

Dembe found that in American there is a need for an integrated process that examines multiple factors of an injured workers’ job because there are too many independent approaches to the rehabilitation process; the lack of factoring in how long recovering employees will work each day is just one example.

The complete text of the article can be in the current edition of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.

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