Renée-Louise Franche


“I have joined CRWDP to be part of a community of researchers who balance scientific rigor, innovation, openness, and social responsibility to bring together lasting changes in how people can achieve their full potential at work and to promote workability for all.”


Key Appointments

  • Senior Psychology Advisor, WorkSafe BC, Vancouver, BC
  • Adjunct professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University
  • Adjunct professor, School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia
  • Adjunct professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto



  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of British Columbia


Areas of expertise


Dr. Franche is a clinical psychologist and consultant in work disability prevention and occupational health. Dr. Franche's research interests focus on understanding the contribution of organizational, healthcare provider, insurer, and individual worker factors in determining safe and sustainable return to work following an occupational injury or a health condition. She has developed Best Practices for return-to-work/stay-at-work interventions for workers with mental health conditions. She has examined the role of multimorbidity, depression, and pain as risk factors for work absence and work limitations in Canadian nurses, and has also considered work disability prevention in Canadian rural areas.


Research Activities

Her research focuses on developing a better understanding of how employers, insurers, healthcare providers, and workers can partner to achieve an optimal return-to-work trajectory following injury or ill health.



Paper accepted for publication

Johnston V, Nielsen A, Corbière M, Franche RL (in press). Experiences and perspectives of physical therapists managing patients covered by workers’ compensation in Queensland, Australia.  Physical Therapy.


Published Refereed Papers

  1. Moll S, Eakin JM, Franche R-L, Strike C. When health care workers experience mental ill health: institutional practices of silence. Qualitative Health Research. Feb 2013, Vol. 23 (2), pp. 167-79.
  2. MacEachen E, KosnyA, Ferrier S, Lippel K, Neilson C, Franche  R-L, Pugliese D. The ideal of consumer choice in social services: challenges with implementation in an Ontario injured worker vocational retraining programme. 2013. Disability and Rehabilitation.
  3. Murray, E, Franche R-L, Ibrahim S, Smith P, Carnide N, Côté P, Gibson J, Guzman J, Mustard, C. Pain-Related Work Interference is a Key Factor in a Worker/Workplace Model of Work Absence Duration due to Musculoskeletal Conditions in Canadian nurses. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2013. DOI 10.1007/s10926-012-9408-7
  4. MacEachen E., Kosny A., Ferrier S., Lippel K., Neilson C., Franche R.-L., Pugliese D. The ‘Ability’ Paradigm in Vocational Rehabilitation: Challenges in an Ontario Injured Worker Retraining Program. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2012. 22(1), 105-117.
  5. Johnston V, Nielsen M, Corbière M, Franche R-L. Experiences and Perspectives of Physical Therapists Managing Patients Covered by Workers' Compensation in Queensland, Australia. Physical Therapy. October 2012. 92 (6), 1306-1315.
  6. Franche R-L, Murray E, Ibrahim S, Smith P, Carnide N, Côté, P, Gibson J, Koehoorn M. Examining the Impact of Worker and Workplace Factors on Prolonged Work Absences Among Canadian Nurses. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2011, 53 (8): 919-927.
  7. Pomaki G, Franche R-L, Murray E, Khushrushahi N,  Lampinen T. Workplace-based Work Disability Prevention Interventions for Workers with Common Mental Health  Conditions: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2011.DOI 10.1007/s10926-011-9338-9
  8. Corbière M, Zaniboni S, Coutu MF, Franche RL, Guzman J, Dawson, K, Yassi A. Evaluation of the fear-avoidance model with healthcare workers experiencing acute/subacute pain. Pain. Doi:10/1016/j.pain. 2011.07.024.
  9. Franche R-L, Murray E, Ostry A, Ratner P, Wagner S, Harder H. Work disability prevention in rural healthcare workers. Rural Remote Health; 2010. 10 (online): 1502.
  10. Brouwer S, Franche R-L, Hogg-Johnson S, Lee H, Krause N, Shaw WS. Return-to-work self-efficacy: Development and validation of a scale in claimants with musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2011; 21:244-258.
  11. Costa-Black KM, Imbeau D, Halpern M, Durand MJ, Baril R, and Franche R-L. The applicability of ergonomics tools for the rehabilitation of low back disability: analysis of their utility and content. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2010.
  12. Corbière M, Bonneville-Roussy A, Franche R-L, Coutu M-F, Chouinière M, Durand M-J, and Boulanger A. Further validation of the BDI-II among people with chronic pain originating from musculoskeletal disorders. Clinical Journal of Pain; 2010 [epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181eef903.
  13. Hepburn CG, Kelloway KE, Franche R-L. Early employer response to workplace injury: What injured workers perceive as fair and why these perceptions matter. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology; 2010, 3(1):7-24.
  14. Nieuwenhuijsen K, Franche R-L, van Dijk FJH. Work functioning measurement: tools for occupational mental health research. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; 2010, 52(8):778-90.
  15. Dionne C, Le Sage N, Franche R-L, Dorval M, Bombardier C, and Deyo R. Five questions predicted long-term, severe, back-related functional limitations: Evidence from three large prospective studies. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology; 2010 May 7, doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.02.004. [epub ahead of print].
  16. Hepburn CG, Franche R-L, Francis L. Successful return to work: The role of fairness and workplace-based strategies. International Workplace Health Management; 2010, 3(1):7-24.
  17. Lagerveld SE, Bültmann U, Franche R-L, van Dijk FJH, Vlasveld MC, van der Feltz-Cornelis CM, Bruinvels D,  Huijs J,  Blonk RWB, van der Klink JL, Nieuwenhuijsen K. Factors associated with work participation and work functioning in depressed workers: a systematic review. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation; 2010, published online:
  18. Steenstra I, Ibrahim S, Franche R-L, Hogg-Johnson S, Shaw W, Pransky G. Validation of a risk factor-based intervention strategy model using data from the Readiness for return to work cohort study. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation; 2010, published online:
  19. Franche R-L, Severin C, Lee H, Hogg-Johnson S, Hepburn G, Vidmar M, MacEachen E. Perceived Justice of Compensation Process for Return-to-Work: Development and Validation of a Scale. Psychological Injury and the Law 2009; 2(3): 225-237.
  20. Franche R-L, Severin C, Hogg-Johnson S, Lee H, Côté P, Krause N. A multivariate analysis of factors associated with offer and acceptance of a work accommodation following an occupational musculoskeletal injury. Journal of Occupational and Environment Medicine 2009; 51: 969-983.
  21. Franche R-L, Carnide N, Hogg-Johnson S, Côté P, Breslin CF, Bültmann U, Severin CN, Krause N. Course, diagnosis, and treatment of depressive symptomatology in workers following a workplace injury: A prospective study. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2009; 54: 534-546.
  22. Van Oostrom SH, Driessen MT, de Vet HCW, Franche, R-L, Schonstein E, Loisel P, van Mechelen W, Anema JR. Workplace interventions for preventing work disability. Injuries Group Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD006955. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006955.pub2.
  23. Brouwer S, Krol B, Reneman MF, Bültmann U, Franche R-L, van der Klink JJL, Groothoff JW (2009). Behavioral determinants as predictors of return to work after long-term sickness absence: An application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. DOI 10.1007/s10926-009-9172-5
  24. Parson  J, Eakin J, Bell R, Franche R-L, Davis E. So, are you back to work yet? – Re-conceptualizing ‘work’ and ‘return to work’ in the context of primary bone cancer. Social Science and Medicine 2008; 67: 1826-1836.
  25. Cameron JI, Stewart DE, Tomlinson GA, Franche R-L, Hyman I, Cheung AM. Emotional distress among family caregivers in Canada: Longitudinal analysis of the National Population Health Survey. Archives of Public Health 2008; 66: 35-45.
  26. Van Oostrom SH, Driessen MT, Anema JR,  Fassier JB, Franche R-L, Schonstein E, de Vet HCW, Loisel P, van Mechelen W. Workplace interventions for preventing work disability. (Protocol) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. Art No.: CD006955. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.cd006955.


Active Grants

  1. MacEachen E, Tompa E, et al. (including Franche R-L as collaborator). 2013-2020. ($2,760,782) Income security and labour-market engagement: Envisioning the future of disability policy in Canada. SSHRC Partnership grant. 
  2. Koehoorn M, Lockhead L, Backman C, Franche R-L. 2011-2013. ($30,000). Association of past hysterectomy with low back injury: A retrospective study of direct healthcare workers. WorkSafe BC Research secretariat.
  3. Friesen MN, Franche R-L, Finlayson G. 2010-2013 ($199,500). Understanding and measuring work disability in rural and urban healthcare workers in Manitoba. Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba.
  4. Loisel, P. and (in alphabetical order) Anema, J.R., Baril, R., Breslin, C., Bültmann, U., Cassidy, J.D., Cooper, J.E., Corbiere, M., Côté, P., Coutu, M.F., Dewa, C., Dionne, C., Durand, M.J., Feuerstein, M., Franche, R.L., Gagnon, D., Guzmán, J., Hogg-Johnson, S., Koehoorn, M., Krause, N., Lambert, C., Lippel, K., MacEachen, E., Mairiaux, P., Pransky, G., Ranville, P., Shaw, W., Tompa, E.,Vézina, N., Scardamalia, M. 2009-2015. CIHR Strategic Training Program in Work Disability Prevention. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. $1,950,000.
  5. Hogg-Johnson S, Tolusso D, Franche R-L, Bültmann U, Tompa E, Amick B. 2010-2013. ($120,805). Comparison of the 1993 Early Claimant Cohort and the 2005 Readiness for Return to Work Cohort. WSIB Research Advisory Council.


Applied Funding

  1. Loisel et al. (including Franche R-L). WorkNet -  A network for mobilizing work ability and health. Government of Canada Networks of Centres of Excellence competition. ($1,600,000).


Past Funding

  1. Franche R-L, Murray E, Alamgir H, Gilligan T, Harder H, Li H, Ostry A, Ratner P, Wagner S. 2010-2012. ($194,551 but did not accept the funding). Work disability prevention in BC rural and urban healthcare workers: Understanding the disparities and moving to solutions. WorkSafeBC.
  2. Franche R-L, Murray E, Alamgir H, Gilligan T, Harder H, Koehoorn M, Ostry A, Ratner P, Wagner S. 2009-2010. ($2,500). Rural health and work disability prevention research initiative: A focus on healthcare workers. British Columbia Environmental and Occupational Health Research Network.
  3. Steenstra I, Busse J, Hogg-Johnson S, Amick B, Tolusso D, Furlan A, Franche R-L. 2009-2011. ($120,942). A prediction rule for duration of disability benefits in workers with non specific low back pain. WSIB Research Advisory Council.
  4. Loisel P., Geary J.A., Keen D., Kidd C., Lovick M.K., Pearson B., Bültmann U., Fassier J.B., Franche R.-L., Gehanno J.F., MacEachen E., Van Oostrom S.  ($100,000.) Knowledge synthesis on the core elements of intervention and implementation to foster the utilization of evidence-based RTW interventions for workers presenting with disability from musculoskeletal disorders. CIHR Knowledge Synthesis Grant.
  5. Loisel P. and (in alphabetical order), Anema H., Baril R., Breslin C., Bültmann U.,  Cassidy D., Cooper J., Corbiere M., Côté P., Coutu M.F.,  Dewa C., Dionne C., Durand M.J., Feuerstein M., Franche R.-L., Gagnon D., Guzmán J., Hogg-Johnson S., Koehoorn M., Krause N., Lambert C., Lippel K., MacEachen E., Mairiaux P., Pransky G., Rainville P., Shaw W., Tompa E., Vézina N.  2008. ($30,000). CIHR Strategic Training Program in Work Disability Prevention. CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research.
  6. Franche R-L, Côté P, Guzman J, Ibrahim S, Koehoorn M, Mustard C, Smith P  H. 2008-2010. ($120,638.00).  Multimorbidity, depression, and pain in the workplace: Potential risk factors for work absence and work limitations in Canadian nurses. WSIB Research Advisory Committee.
  7. Cassidy JD, Côté P, Carette S et al. (Including Franche R-L). 2005-2010. ($2,000,000). Centre of Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO). Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
  8. Tompa E, Endicott M, de Wolff A, Franche R-L, Guzman J, MacEachen E, Stone SD, Gildiner A, Storey R, Lippel K, Ballantyne P, Eakin J, Kirsh B, Tucker E. 2005-2010. ($997,322). Workers’ compensation and the consequences of work injury. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
  9. Dionne C, Abdous B, Bombardier C, Deyo R, Franche R-L. 2008-2009. ($100,000) CASSANDRA III: Measuring the clinical and financial impacts of the systemic use of a predictive model of long term, severe, back-related functional limitations. Canadian Institute of Health Research.
  10. Kennedy C, Franche R-L. Jan 2008 – Dec 2008. ($5,000) Prescription for Education: A pilot study of the effectiveness of an education program for adults with inflammatory arthritis. Arthritis Health Professions Association of Ontario.
  11. Loisel P, Baril R, Durand M-J , Franche R-L, Gagnon D, Larivière C, Rainville P, Sullivan M, Vézina N. 2004-2008. ($800,000). Développer, évaluer et implanter des modes de prise en charge pour le retour et maintien au travail des personnes ayant des troubles muculo-squelettiques. Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.
  12. Corbière M, Coutu MF, Franche R-L, Durand M-J, Choinière M. March 2007- March 2008. ($19,953). La validation de l’Inventaire de Dépression de Beck II auprès de personnes ayant une douleur originaire de troubles musculosquelettiques. REPAR (Quebec). 
  13. Loisel P, Arsenault B, Baril R, Berthelette D, Bombardier C, Franche R-L, et al. 2008. ($306,000). Extension Funding for the Work disability prevention CIHR strategic training program. Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).
  14. MacEachen E, Franche R-L. Jan 2008-Sept 2008. ($9,573). Groundwork for an injured worker and mental health intervention study. Centre of Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO).
  15. Franche R-L, Guzmán J, Koehoorn M. Jan 2008-June 2008. ($10,000). Exploring multimorbidity: identifying the most prevalent persistent health conditions, their co-occurrence, and their relationship with work absence and work limitations in healthcare workers. Centre of Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO).
  16. MacEachen E, Kosny A., Lippel K, Franche R-L. 2007-2009. ($140,605). An ethnographic study of process and experience with labour market re-entry. WSIB Research Advisory Council.
  17. Franche R-L, Corbière M, Côté P, Imbeau D, Larivière C, Loisel P, Carnide N. 2007-2008. ($10,000). Determinants of RTW and SAW: Building an integrated cross-jurisdictional cohort. Work Disability Prevention FRSQ Research Team.
  18. Franche R-L, Breslin C, Côté P, Frank J, Hepburn G, Hogg-Johnson S, Mustard C, Reardon R. 2006-2008. ($246,674). Recurrence and persistence of work absence: Understanding their risk factors, and long-term impact on workers’ health, work limitations, and non-work role participation. WSIB Research Advisory Committee.


For contact and additional information, please visit: Renée-Louise Franche