Research Updates

This page lists all research updates available on Return to Work Matters.

Research is chosen for review based on quality of the evidence and its practical value in return to work.

Requests to undertake reviews of research on particular subjects are welcome.

Click the ‘Topics’ button below to drill down into all articles and research updates on your topic of interest.

We need better workplace interventions for common mental disorders

contributorGabrielle Lis

Tackle the psychosocial work environment if you want to see higher productivity, less sickness...

Evidence-based treatment for combined depression and anxiety

contributorGabrielle Lis

Anxiety and depression commonly go together but can be daunting to treat. A Dutch depression...

SME employers and RTW after cancer

contributorGabrielle Lis

Caring, off-the-cuff and worried about finances: how SMEs manage cancer-related sickness absence...

Digging up trouble

contributorGabrielle Lis

Macho workplace cultures and frictional compensation systems yield financial and emotional...

Perspective check: Claims leaders versus frontline claims professionals

contributorRTWMatters team

Nine takeaways from US research comparing the perspectives of claims leaders to those on the...

How to reduce lost time due to shoulder injuries

contributorGabrielle Lis

Around a quarter of work absence due to shoulder injury could be prevented if organisations...

Returning to work after stroke

contributorGabrielle Lis

Stroke is becoming more common in working age individuals. How likely is RTW, and what sorts of...

Psychological V Musculoskeletal: an unfair race

contributorGabrielle Lis

Workers with psychological injuries have worse experiences of the RTW process than those with...

And the support goes to…?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Supportive employers see more RTW. Now Australian research has identified what influences the...

The importance of non-traumatic stressors on the mental health of first responders and public safety personnel

contributorDon McCreary, PhD

A Canadian expert in men's health, workplace stress and resilience explains how organisational...

Dying for more job control

contributorGabrielle Lis

Large Australian study links low job control to higher mortality risk.

Healthcare workers, violence and RTW

contributorGabrielle Lis

Violence can lead to a complex combination of physical and psychological injury. Workers who...

Mean streets take toll on taxi drivers

contributorGabrielle Lis

High levels of mental exertion depression are rife amongst taxi drivers, but greater workplace...

Work injury and deaths of despair

contributorGabrielle Lis

Research from the US confirms the link between work absences of more than a week and deaths from...

Clearing the air at work

contributorGabrielle Lis

Can workplace interventions ease occupational asthma? Are there benefits to reducing risk...

Knee osteoarthritis, age and heavy lifting

contributorGabrielle Lis

Does working as an airport baggage handler for twenty years increase the risk of knee...

Experiments in workers’ compensation

contributorGabrielle Lis

In Minnesota, USA, an alternative workers compensation scheme has reduced conflict amongst...

Less mental illness, more flourishing at work

contributorGabrielle Lis

Can interventions that target the psychosocial work environment reduce mental illness AND...

Targeted learning eases job strain in the ICU

contributorGabrielle Lis

A 5-day intervention for ICU nurses in France establishes that individual workers can learn to...

RTW-land has a social capital

contributorGabrielle Lis

Teams built on trust and cooperation - i.e. teams with high social capital - have less long term...

Mining the resources that prevent chronic LBP

contributorGabrielle Lis

Good mental health, social support at work and home, and job satisfaction protect against...

What's behind presenteeism?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Research identifies four productivity-sappers that can lead to presenteeism: job...

Metabolic syndrome: risks and opportunities

contributorRTWMatters team

Metabolic syndrome compromises health and work, but a personalised exercise intervention helps...

Driving back to work (and stopping on the way)

contributorGabrielle Lis

Failed RTW is more likely after a traffic accident causing whiplash than other injuries. What...

Stress treatment program speeds up RTW

contributorGabrielle Lis

With cooperation between the therapist and the workplace, caring, individualised treatment for...

Angry nurses have more MSDs - and there's a link to social demands / support

contributorGabrielle Lis

Nurses who think they offer their colleagues more support than they get in return are more...

Interventions with workplace contact reduce stress absence

contributorGabrielle Lis

Contact with the workplace has proven benefits for workers with stress, depression and other...

Less LBP pain and more function with early RTW

contributorGabrielle Lis

Health practitioners and employers take note: with appropriate support and appropriate duties,...

After amputation, who might struggle to RTW?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Returning to work after the amputation of a leg or foot takes time. Older workers struggle more,...

Mirror, mirror

contributorGabrielle Lis

“Who’s the fairest?” matters to compensation recipients. Researchers find associations between...

Accommodating arthritis for men and women

contributorGabrielle Lis

Workers with arthritis are offered accommodations at work but around 40% still don’t get what...

Hospital, union collaborate on good RTW medicine

contributorGabrielle Lis

Employer, union collaboration on disability management policy and RTW planning leads to 50% drop...

Delay feeds delay

contributorGabrielle Lis

Early reporting and prompt claim adjudication and payment may reduce the number of workers who...

The emotional demands of case management

contributorGabrielle Lis

Researchers take us to the heart of case management, via focus groups with Australian case managers

Works often but not always: a closer look at participatory ergonomics

contributorGabrielle Lis

Not all participatory ergonomics programs are created equal, Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick...

Worker perspectives on back pain, heavy manual labour and sickness absence

contributorRTWMatters team

Danish researchers conclude that ergonomics training can cause confusion and stress, while...

Protective powers of supervisor safety support

contributorGabrielle Lis

Worker survey says supervisors act as a safety net when other aspects of the working environment...

For injured workers, are insurers the rock and treaters the hard place?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Workers view insurer / healthcare provider relationships as adversarial and hamstrung – but they...

Healing or harming?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Workers across the world describe similar worries, frustrations and difficulties with the health...

Geography of RTW and mental health

contributorGabrielle Lis

Do workers in some Australian jurisdictions take more time off work for a mental health claim...