Research Updates

Research

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.

Do opioids for acute MSD pain help RTW?

contributorRTWMatters team

Research seeking answers turned up more questions instead...

Bully me, bully my team

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

People in a team where bullying occurs are more likely to have long periods of time off work,...

One LBP intervention does not fit all

contributorRTWMatters team

Is there such a thing as too much early intervention for workers with lower back injuries?

How do workers decide when to return?

contributorRTWMatters team

Top ten considerations that underlie decisions about the timing of RTW.

Workers have perfect families, right?

contributorRTWMatters team

Compensation systems idealise families, expecting too much family support for injured workers...

Can mind body treatments cure chronic pain?

contributorRTWMatters team

New approaches have promise, but it is too soon to tell sufferers that a pain-free life is on...

Mental health and wellbeing costs of FIFO for workers, families

contributorGabrielle Lis

Fly in fly out workers and their partners struggle to reconcile working life and home life,...

Psychological treatment reduces post-surgical pain

contributorRTWMatters team

Patients feel less acute, post-surgical pain when they take part in a psychological intervention...

Is supervisor confidence key to mental health contact?

contributorRTWMatters team

Training makes managers more confident in their communication skills and more likely to get in...

Work motivation and chronic disease

contributorRTWMatters team

What do people with chronic disease value about work? What motivates them to keep working and...

Childhood adversity at work

contributorGabrielle Lis

Adverse childhood experiences impact performance at work and are likely to impact recovery from...

The test you do not want to ACE

contributorGabrielle Lis

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are common, and can wreak havoc on physical and...

Where are the mental health nuts and bolts?

contributorRTWMatters team

Mental health capabilities, culture, policies and procedures are lacking compared to leadership...

Action lagging behind good intentions?

contributorRTWMatters team

Workers see the benefits of good workplace mental health but think business and government need...

Supervisors reveal anxieties about mental health

contributorRTWMatters team

Supervisors describe mental health-related work absences as unpredictable and worrisome. How...

Super Support

contributorRTWMatters team

Experienced supervisors list ten ways they understand and support injured workers

Women, children and RTW

contributorRTWMatters team

Injury has a big impact on home life. Does home life (especially caring for dependent children)...

What is the story, Safe Work Australia?

contributorRTWMatters team

Claims are going down but costs are going up. Has safety improved? We dig into the data on...

Work Versus Return to Work?

contributorRTWMatters team

Supervisors say that balancing competing demands is an integral part of supporting RTW

Snapshot of Australian claims, 2015-16

contributorRTWMatters team

The latest in Australian workers compensation data: we summarise claims numbers by gender,...

Supervisors know RTW is a team sport

contributorRTWMatters team

What competencies do supervisors think they need to manage the impact of RTW on teams and coworkers?

Supervisor self-care

contributorRTWMatters team

Supervising RTW can be challenging, both emotionally and professionally. What supports are...

Preventing chronic MSDs

contributorGabrielle Lis

The right kind of vocational rehabilitation can stave off the transition to chronic disability....

Co-worker collateral

contributorRTWMatters team

Return to work processes are designed to help injured workers recover on the job but co-workers...

Team players or nay-sayers?

contributorRTWMatters team

Five things that make or break co-worker support for modified duties during the early days of...

Training to fail?

contributorRTWMatters team

Australian Return to Work Coordinators complain about the quality and relevance of the training...

Positivity and disability

contributorRTWMatters team

What personality traits and experiences make people more likely to cope with adversity such as...

The downside of accommodation

contributorGabrielle Lis

A look at the challenges faced by supervisors obliged to oversee modified duties in a workplace...

Jargon busters

contributorGabrielle Lis

Researchers are worried that medical mumbo jumbo hurts recovery. What happens when medical...

Back to basics: RTW plans

contributorRTWMatters team

What aspects of RTW planning are the most important, according to supervisors and rehabilitation...

Asking questions improves RTW motivation

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Motivational interviewing promotes better RTW results, especially for people who lose or leave...

The talking heart of RTW

contributorRTWMatters team

What kinds of communication skills do supervisors need to support injured workers?

Supervisors and the bureaucracy of RTW

contributorRTWMatters team

In order to support RTW, supervisors must understand injury management systems and processes....

Flexible workers or flexible work?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Choice and control is good for worker health, according to a review of the research on workplace...

Popularity contest

contributorRTWMatters team

Rehabilitation professionals see the personal qualities of supervisors (e.g. honesty, fairness...

Work hours = health risk?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Working more than 39 hours per week negatively impacts mental health; as do very short working...

Research reveals top ten supervisor skills for RTW

contributorRTWMatters team

Honesty, respect for privacy, job knowledge and tough love all make the list of supervisor...

Support or confrontation?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Supervisors discuss whether support is enough to keep workers with MSDs at work, or whether a...

Rethinking injury and unfairness

contributorGabrielle Lis

Why do some people focus on the injustice of their injury while others move on with equanimity?...

Profile: Supervisors who support modified duties

contributorGabrielle Lis

Supervisors who show concern and respect for workers, who have the autonomy to make decisions...

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