Research Updates

Research Articles

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.

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...

Supervisors who react with support can help injured workers return to the job

contributorInstitute for Work and Health

Study examining return to work and social support finds importance of supervisors’ first...

Questioning the impact of compensation stress on health

contributorGabrielle Lis

What aspects of compensation systems cause stress? How common is it? Does compensation-related...

Putting the "social" back in biopsychosocial

contributorRTWMatters team

What does the international evidence say about the impact of compensation systems, health care...

Reforming risky systems

contributorGabrielle Lis

American researchers think we can design worker’s compensation systems that promote occupational...

RTW intervention supergroup

contributorRTWMatters team

International research says workplace interventions work best when they tick multiple boxes:...

Copycat, absent

contributorGabrielle Lis

A small proportion of employees imitate co-worker absence. Chucking a sickie is less appealing...

Whose support matters, and when?

contributorRTWMatters team

How does pre-existing workplace social support impact return to work after injury? Do supervisor...

Mindfulness intervention helps call centre workers

contributorGabrielle Lis

Stressed-out call centre workers see persistent benefits from an 8-week meditation program -...

Low-stress interactions matter more for longer-term claimants

contributorGabrielle Lis

What’s more important for durable RTW: RTW planning or the stressfulness of interactions between...

Relaxation saves sleep from rude supervisors and co-workers

contributorGabrielle Lis

Workplace incivility and poorer sleep go hand in hand - unless you know how to switch off from...

Sleep, burnout and RTW

contributorGabrielle Lis

For employees with burnout, recovery and return to work is possible. What role does sleep play?

High demands + low control = depression, anxiety

contributorRTWMatters team

New evidence strengthens link between job strain and common mental health disorders, with...

Identifying and managing psychosocial risks

contributorRTWMatters team

In this 5 minute guide, we give you the dot-point version of research into psychosocial risks...

Brief psychosocial screeners trump GPs and physios

contributorGabrielle Lis

Psychosocial risk factors better predict delayed recovery than do injury characteristics. How...

Supervisor training wasted without support from the top?

contributorRTWMatters team

Before your organisation invests in supervisor training, ask whether the organisational culture...

Out-muscle depression with resistance exercise

contributorGabrielle Lis

Exercises that build muscle and power also reduce symptoms of depression. You do not need to...

Mapping Australian systems of income support

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A ground-breaking report on Australian income support systems shows why everyone from life...

Introducing ROSES

contributorGabrielle Lis

In the search to find a screening tool to assist workers with MSDs and common mental health...

Do opioids for acute MSD pain help RTW?

contributorRTWMatters team

Research seeking answers turned up more questions instead...

Individuality, work and PTSD

contributorRTWMatters team

Employment outcomes are better for PTSD veterans when individual skills, abilities and...

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