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.

The history of compensation in Australia

contributorFrancesca McSteen

With harmonisation hopefully imminent, it's a good time to look at and learn from Australia's...

Preventing unnecessary disability

contributorHannah Bourne

An overview of the complex factors influencing the return to work of sick and injured workers,...

Manners Matter: doctors' behaviour influences return to work and recovery of injured workers

contributorHannah Bourne

A study looking at factors influencing the return to work and recovery of injured workers in...

It's all in the head: supporting families dealing with traumatic brain injury

contributorHannah Bourne

Identifying the needs of families caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury.

Balance at work, balance at home

contributorFrancesca McSteen

Workplace flexibility is associated with better employee health

Welfare-to-work programs

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Are they good policy? Do they work? How can they be improved?

Predicting and preventing long-term disability

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Recognising the risk factors for long term disability can help employers reduce the compensation...

The simple way to predict RTW outcomes? Ask!

contributorHannah Bourne

A short survey can predict a worker's RTW outcomes

Physical activity a must for sedentary workers

contributorHannah Bourne

Contrary to expectations, sedentary workers are more likely than heavy workers to lead inactive...

This round is on the boss...

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Alcohol consumption and work absenteeism: Educating workers and preventing absence

Who's the boss? Health and control in the workplace

contributorFriyana Bhabha

If a sense of workplace control is linked to good health, how can it be fostered?

Depression and antidepressants

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Clinical principles for the use of antidepressants, and the effectiveness of other treatments in...

Countering job dissatisfaction in immigrant workers

contributorFriyana Bhabha

What can employers do to tackle the problem of job dissatisfaction?

Empowering employers to fight depression

contributorAnna Dunn

A short guide to depression busting in the workplace

Challenges and opportunities for preventing depression

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

This article explores some of the ways to manage and prevent major depression in the workplace.

Recognising depression at work

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

We all know depression is a problem, but do we recognise depression when we see it?

The business of depression

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

There is a good business case for educating your workforce about depression

Depression, anxiety, fatigue: the unproductive trinity

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Productivity suffers when workers are depressed - but are some depressed workers more prone to...

Get off your backside to improve your back!

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Home exercise is a cheap and effective way to improve back pain

Non-surgical treatment options for chronic back pain

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Exercise, behavioural and multimodal programs: What works for RTW and why?

Success with shoulders?

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Rotator cuff treatments that work...and a couple that don't!

Employer flexibility helps cancer survivors return to work

contributorAnna Dunn

Returning to work after cancer treatment is difficult, but employers can make a difference.

Treating back pain with corticosteroids

contributorAnna Dunn

Are steroid injections an effective way to treat acute back pain?

School of (back) pain!

contributorHannah Bourne

Brief, face-to-face education works best for chronic LBP rehabilitation

What is occupational contact dermatitis?

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Know the facts about this common skin condition.

Epidemiology for Beginners

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Introducing the basics and explaining the terminology

The costs of mental health problems ARE negotiable

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Lowering the costs of mental health problems for governments, employers, families and sufferers

Treatment recommendations: making them stick

contributorFriyana Bhabha

How to help patients adhere to treatment recommendations

Fear, distress and heavy lifting: predictors of ongoing back pain

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Psychological distress, heavy lifting and fear of activity are better predictors of back pain...

Bearing the brunt of obesity

contributorFriyana Bhabha

How obesity impacts the workplace

Upper extremity overuse and RTW

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Two-thirds of workers with upper extremity overuse experience a recurrence of pain after RTW....

What is behind psychosocial sick leave?

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

A look at the factors which predict psychosocial sick leave.

Optimising occupational health

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

Decisions made in occupational health care that follow the 5-step protocol of evidence based...

Distress, fatigue and long-term sick leave

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

What puts men and women at risk of taking long term sick leave? This study explores the roles...

Tick, tick, tick: The timing of intervention.

contributorAnna Kelsey-Sugg

Intervention by nurse case managers during the first week after onset of back pain improves...

Why me? Predicting neck pain

contributorJoy Hewitt

Certain factors put people at risk of recurrent neck pain. What predicts recovery? This study...

A pain in the neck?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A Canadian study explores the relationship between neck pain and lost time claims.

Early intervention: Risky business?

contributorGabrielle Lis

Early intervention programs for lower back pain aim to keep workers in the workplace. How can...

When safety turns dangerous...

contributorAndrea Thompson

Safety incentive programs may reduce workplace injury rates but they can also cause...

Save lives and money with health and productivity management

contributorAndrea Thompson

The best work disability programs are broader than return to work management. Improving the...