Objective: To systematically evaluate if an interdisciplinary functional restoration program (FRP), shown to be a viable treatment option for patients with chronic disabling occupational lumbar disorders, is as effective in treating chronic disabling occupational upper extremity disorders.
Methods: Participants were 2484 consecutive patients with either arm or lumbar disorders admitted to an FRP. Analyses compared demographic, psychosocial, and work-related factors, and 1-year post-rehabilitation socioeconomic outcomes.
Results: Socioeconomic outcomes showed that work-return and work-retention rates after successful completion of the FRP did not differ between the two groups, or among the upper extremity subgroups.
Conclusions: FRP is equally effective for patients with chronic upper extremity or lumbar spine disorders, regardless of the injury type, site in the upper extremity, or the disparity in injury-specific and psychosocial factors identified before treatment.