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Gradual Return to Work (G-RTW): Current implementation and potentials for further improvement

Project number: F 2459 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2023-02-28


"Gradual Return to Work" (G-RTW) is a statutory measure in SGB IX to support a sustainable return-to-work process. Performed at the workplace, G-RTW intends to identify the occupational resilience of those affected, to strengthen the self-confidence and reduce the fear of excessive demands and an illness relapse at the organisational and supra-organisational level (cf. Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Rehabilitation 2015). According to current research, the much needed cooperation between all actors involved still displays deficits. Both the access, as well as the implementation of G-RTW, suggest a potential for improvement. To date, the limited research identifies possible causes for the limited effectiveness of G-RTW in the participating actors ‘lack of information and knowledge, unclarity concerning allocation and design of G-RTW and the deficit of networking between organisational and supra-organisational actors.

The planned study is intended to close the research gap and, for the first time, to examine G-RTW's current practice as well as the underlying expert, action and experiential knowledge of all stakeholders in the specific phases of initiating and implementing G-RTW. The contextual facilitators and barriers that will be identified will serve as the basis for practical recommendations and tools (e.g. guidelines) to improve the design and organization of G-RTW.

The findings on the action-guiding principles of all actors involved, which will be gained through group discussions and interviews, will therefore help to reduce shortcomings in terms of access and process quality of the G-RTW.


Unit 3.3 "Evidence-based Occupational Health, Workplace Health Management"

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971 Fax: +49 231 9071-2070