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The Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute (WWDPI) is a global centre of excellence with a mandate to create and sustain work wellness, prevent disability, eliminate impairment-related job loss, and worklessness for those with, or at risk of, chronic and episodic health-related challenges​. A primary goal is to reduce the gap between what is known from high quality research and what is done in practice. In 2017 the organization changed its name from the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability to Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute.


  • Facilitate the adoption of research evidence to create and sustain work wellness, prevent disability, eliminate impairment-related job loss, and worklessness for those with, or at risk of, chronic and episodic health-related challenges
  • Provide credible, science-informed, practical tools and educational resources to facilitate stay at work, return to work, and re-integration of people with impairments and disabilities
  • Work collaboratively with government, organizations and individuals who play a role in creating, and sustaining safe, healthy, inclusive and productive workplaces
  • Provide relevant and useful evidence-based services and resources to stakeholders seeking research-based information and practical resources. Stakeholders include:
    • governments, employers, labour organizations, occupational health and safety professionals, public and private insurers, educators, workers and vulnerable populations
  • Partner with the global community of researchers, professionals and other stakeholders committed to work wellness and the prevention of disability,  job loss and worklessness
  • Support work participation for those at risk, or with, chronic and episodic health-related challenges

To eliminate job loss and prevent worklessness, WWDPI provides the following programs and services:

  • Needs Assessment Engages academic, business, labour, health professionals, government and other partners to identify high-priority real world challenges, and collaboratively creates evidence-informed strategic action plans to address these needs.
  • Strategic Planning Hosts and participates in strategic planning activities with government, academics, business and labour leadership, health professionals, the public and private sectors, workers and vulnerable populations, its' Board of Directors, as well as its members and users of its programs and services to establish priorities, funding and actions plans to eliminate job loss and prevent impairment-caused worklessness.
  • International and National Collaboration Fosters international and national collaboration to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort and to build a core up-to-date repository of research and practical resources to facilitate the application of evidence-based interventions to prevent work disability and curricular renewal across fields and disciplines.
  • Knowledge Synthesis Conducts and disseminates findings from research syntheses to produce reports, guidelines, toolkits and educational and curricular resources relevant to private/public sectors, professional bodies, business and labour organizations, educators, workers and vulnerable populations, and the general public.
  • Building Research Capacity and Academic Community Partnerships Creates partnerships between academic and community stakeholders to strengthen research capacity and ensure research meets high priority needs of stakeholders. This includes facilitating research to practice as well as learning from stakeholders' successes and facilitating rigorous evaluation. An important priority is implementation research to identify best practices in facilitating individual and organizational change.
  • Educational Programming in collaboration with its partners, WWDPI summarizes knowledge from evidence-based research and provides practical guidance through the delivery of online programs, conferences, and by supporting curricular development and renewal.
  • ​Health and Work Productivity Portal (HWP) To operationalize the HWP, an online collaborative platform to identify, translate and disseminate credible research, educational resources and toolkits, we are seeking investment.


For People with Chronic and Episodic Health Challenges


Approximately 30% of the working age population in Canada have one or more chronic or episodic health conditions including: arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and mood disorders. It is estimated that nine million Canadians are afflicted by at least one of these seven chronic health conditions alone. One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain. With an aging work population there is an urgent need to create more efficient ways to communicate new knowledge and translate this knowledge into practical resources relevant to workers, employers, worker representatives, health professionals, policy-makers and others to eliminate impairment-caused job loss and create safe, healthy, productive and inclusive workplaces for all.

The translation and implementation of high quality research findings into training, policy, practice and public education is a primary objective of ​WWDPI.

Health and Work Productivity


Workers, employers and society face significant burdens associated with work absence, prolonged disability and less than optimal work productivity. Research has found that factors contributing to the risk of disability, prolonged absence and low productivity are rarely attributable to bio-medical factors alone. Risk factors contributing to prolonged unnecessary disability are also factors contributing to poor productivity. These factors may include leadership quality, supervisory/ management knowledge and skills, organizational and policy issues, workplace culture, benefit and compensation issues, occupational health and safety concerns, labour management relations, etc.  The Health and Work Productivity Web-Portal is an academic community partnership program to support a more research (evidence-based) approach to creating safe, healthy, productive and accommodating workplaces.

If you are interesting in learning more about The Health and Work Productivity Web-Portal and how you can participate in this project please contact us using our Contact Form. ​

Last Modified: 11/28/2017 3:25 PM