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Cognitive Work Hardening: Scientifically studied

Cognitive work hardening: Research

Cognitive work hardening underwent rigorous scientific study to determine its effectiveness in helping people return to work following an episode of depression. Research findings support cognitive work hardening as a return-to-work treatment intervention for this group of people.

The cognitive work hardening program studied was the one at ERGO-Wise known as bridge2work™. Research results have been published in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy and the journal Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, & Rehabilitation.

Research: Main findings

Self-reported work ability, fatigue, and depression severity improved significantly after participation in the intervention.

Study participants reported the following main gains as a result of participation in the intervention:

  • adoption of a routine
  • work stamina
  • self-confidence
  • cognitive abilities
  • coping strategies

Study participants reported the following key intervention elements they found valuable for their return-to-work preparation:

  • structure of intervention
  • customized work simulations
  • realistic simulated work environment
  • support from occupational therapist
  • education

ERGO-Wise’s cognitive work hardening program: Innovative

Approach supported by rigorous research.

Grounded in ‘classical’ work hardening, an evidence-based intervention that prepares people to return to work typically following a physical injury and/or a musculoskeletal condition.

Well-suited to the unique return-to-work issues faced by disability claimants on mental health leaves.

Has also helped people with medical conditions in which cognitive abilities and/or stamina may be affected (e.g., cancer survivors, post-concussion).

Adeena Wisenthal PhD, M.Ed, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Adeena Wisenthal

Adeena Wisenthal, PhD, MEd, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Pioneer & developer of CWH since 2000

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