Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Occup Rehabil. 2009 Jun;19(2):194-202. doi: 10.1007/s10926-009-9173-4. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Margin of manoeuvre indicators in the workplace during the rehabilitation process: a qualitative analysis.

Author information

Centre d'action en prévention de l'incapacité au travail (CAPRIT), 1111 St-Charles Street West, Suite 101, Longueuil, QC, J4K 5G4, Canada.



The task of evaluating workers' capacity to return to their pre-injury employment or other jobs continues to pose a daily challenge for clinicians. In this study, a concept frequently used in the field of ergonomics, the margin of manoeuvre (MM), was applied during the rehabilitation process. The study identified the indicators of the MM taken into account during the return to work of workers with musculoskeletal disorders.


This study used a multiple-case design. A case was defined as a dyad comprising a worker admitted to a work rehabilitation program and the clinician who was managing the return-to-work process. The results were then validated with investigators and expert ergonomists, through group interviews. Content analyses were performed using the conceptual framework for the work activity model adapted from Vézina and the procedures recommended by Miles and Huberman.


A total of 11 workers, five clinicians, two experts and two investigators participated in this study. The interview analysis process resulted in a more detailed definition of the MM and the identification of 50 indicators. The indicators were classified according to six dimensions: (1) work context; (2) employer's requirements and expectations; (3) means and tools; (4) worker's personal parameters; (5) work activity; and (6) impacts of the work situation.


The more specific indicators identified in this study will allow for more systematic observation of the MM. Subsequent studies will seek to link each indicator described in the model with a specific method of observation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center