Evaluation of the Work Loss Data Institute's Official Disability Guidelines

Published in: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine [Epub November 2017]. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001230

Posted on RAND.org on January 24, 2018

by Kanaka Shetty, Laura Raaen, Dmitry Khodyakov, Christina Boutsicaris, Teryl K. Nuckols

Read More

Access further information on this document at Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.


The widely used Official Disability Guidelines (ODG™), a utilization review guideline for occupational conditions, has not been independently evaluated recently.


We applied the appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation (AGREE II) and modified a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR) instruments to assess guideline development methods and the quality of supporting systematic reviews. Multidisciplinary experts rated the validity of clinical content for 47 topics.


The overall AGREE II score was 58% due to a combination of favorable attributes (breadth, clear recommendations, frequent updating, and application tools) and unfavorable attributes (scant input from workers and uncertainty about editorial independence). The modified AMSTAR rating was fair/good due to limited information on methods. Panelists rated clinical content as valid for 41 topics.


ODG appears to be acceptable to clinicians, but ODG requires greater rigor to keep pace with methodological advances in the field of guideline development.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.