Fit for work: a European study on health at the workplace
International Journal of Integrated Care, 31 December 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Conference abstract
Fit for work: a European study on health at the workplace
Veronika Fialka-Moser, Prof., Dr., Head of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Correspondence to: Veronika Fialka-Moser, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, 1090 Vienna, Phone: +43 1 40400 4330, Fax: +43 1 40400 5281, E-mail:

Definition of vocational rehabilitation: Vocational rehabilitation is defined as a multidisciplinary process whereby those disadvantaged by illness or disability can be enabled to access, maintain or return to employment. The major components of vocational rehabilitation are:

Legal framework for practice

The UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (2008) has eight guiding principles. These encompass the right to work and to full access to employment.

Epidemiology of incapacity/long-term disability

There are 44.6 million disabled people of working age in the EU. Currently, 42.2% of disabled people are in employment, compared to 64.5% of non-disabled people. Forty-four percent of unemployed disabled people feel that they would be able to work if given the appropriate assistance.

Models of vocational rehabilitation

To plan vocational rehabilitation effectively it is necessary to discriminate between static disabilities and progressive and fluctuant long-term conditions where the response may have to be more flexible.

Most models demand co-operation between those in different parts of a single service and between agencies. In the ‘closed’ system all parts of the assessment and interventions are delivered by staff within the system. Usually, the system is an ‘open system’.

History taking, examination, measurement and assessment of work incapacity

The assessment has to be based on medical, functional and psychological factors. In determining work ability all of the components of the ICF model should be used. Evaluation of functional assessment is equally necessary.

vocational rehabilitation