Date of this Version
Specific work tasks represent the most widely recognised risk for Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders and injuries. Six injured police officers (m=38.8 years of age) volunteered to participate in a study to determine whether a structured and supervised reconditioning program may improve their return to work prospects. Three officers were allocated to the intervention group, receiving eight training sessions over four-weeks of a tailored reconditioning program, and three officers to a control group. Both groups continued to receive standard medical care. Mean total Functional Movement Screen scores increased in the intervention group (+4.3 points) to a greater extent than the control group (+1.0 points). Individual component scores for the Functional Movement Screen were significantly lower in the intervention group (p=0.004) at initial assessment but not at the four-week follow up. Only the intervention group made a significant improvement in movement performance scores (p=0.012) over the four-week period. A minimal difference (2.3 points) was found between groups in SF36 Physical Component Summary mean scores at the initial assessment. At four-weeks the intervention group scores had increased (+10.2 points) and the control group scores decreased (-4.1 points). Results suggest that injured police officers who participate in a structured and supervised reconditioning program in addition to their standard medical care improve in physical performance measures and in attitudes towards their physical health to a greater extent than those who only receive standard medical care. Providing injured police officers with a workplace reconditioning program, conducted under supervision, may improve their return to work prospects and reduce costs associated with workplace injury.
This document has been peer reviewed.