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

Building and maintaining a working alliance in occupational rehabilitation within an intercultural clinical context


Language and cultural barriers, as well as lack of knowledge of the health care system and the role of professionals, can increase intervention time with immigrant workers who have sustained employment injuries. These barriers interfere with the creation of the relationship between the professional and the patient, commonly called the “working alliance” (WA).
To date, little is known about the mechanisms and interactional dynamics that allow the working alliance to be built and maintained.
Yet an in-depth knowledge of clinical realities is needed if we are to identify the conditions and process involved in building these alliances in multi-ethnic contexts, particularly when several professionals are called upon to collaborate in treating an injured worker.
The aim of this project is to document the gradual building and maintenance of the WA between immigrant workers with compensated employment injuries and their treating professionals in a return-to-work context.
The results of the project should make it possible, among other things, to refine existing tools in order to optimize intervention time and return-to-work potential, and to incorporate new material, such as an investigation grid and training content, into these tools.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2014-0013
Status: Ongoing
Research Field: Occupational Rehabilitation