IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

REPAR-IRSST program: The effect of the professional’s representations on the work rehabilitation process of workers with MSDs


Every year, many Québec workers are excluded from work due to a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), and 8% of them have difficulty continuing to work. The person’s representation, namely his understanding of his disease, is among the factors in the development and maintenance of this disability. To improve the management of affected people and thus contribute to reduced disability, the researchers studied the relationship between a therapist and his patient in a rehabilitation process, and documented their respective differences in representation. Their study’s results reveal that some types of differences can have negative effects on the process, as well as highlight the importance of the therapist and worker establishing common objectives. The advantage of this type of clinical study is that it closely approximates the therapeutic reality of disability prevention, thus taking into account factors that affect the relationship between therapist and patient, such as administrative constraints. Linked to the results of previous studies, the study reveals the necessity of understanding each person’s representations and comprehension, as well as of establishing shared objectives and strategies.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-5370
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2008
Research Field: Occupational Rehabilitation
  • Marie-France Coutu (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Raymond Baril (IRSST)
  • Marie-José Durand (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Nicole Charpentier (Centre de réadaptation Prévicap)